Horsham District Council has named the person who will represent the authority as chairman during election year.
Christian Mitchell (Con, Holbrook West), was officially appointed by members on Tuesday night to be vice chairman for the municipal year 2013/14.
The appointment means he is likely to become chairman in the next year to serve the council in this ceremonial, non-partisan role until May 2015 when the district council elections take place.
Current vice chairman Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), first elected in 2007, was formally named as the next chairman of the council.
Subject to formal appointment in May, he will take over from the current chairman Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar).
Mr Circus said: “I am looking forward to taking a bit of a step back from some aspects of party politics. It comes with all the dissention in the Conservative Party at the moment so it’s an extremely good time to be doing that.
“I have been Mayor of Reigate council and one of he things I relish most is the detachment from party politics and it is nice to represent the council in a non-political way.
“I’ve been right in the thick of it. I’ve been a parliamentary candidate and served on two local authorities so I shall enjoy the non political role of being chairman.”
After being named as the next vice chairman, Mr Mitchell, who was first elected in 2003, said: “I’m deeply honoured that council have chosen me to be the vice chairman for the year 2013 to 2014 and that they have given me their confidence for me to serve the District in this very important role. I’m very much looking forward to the role and meeting, with the chairman of the council, the very many people in our district that make it great.”