A Liberal Democrat councillor has been elected as chairman of Horsham District Council for the next year.
Leonard Crosbie (Trafalgar), who is one of eight Liberal Democrat councillors on the district council, replaced Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater) as chairman at the Annual Council meeting last week.
Mrs Vickers, who also sits on Southwater Parish Council served the council as chairman for the past 12 months and Mr Crosbie will represent the council on official business for the next civic year.
After the annual meeting Mr Crosbie, who was first elected in 1995, said: “I am very pleased and honoured to be elected Chairman of Horsham District Council.
“The council was magnanimous in electing a councillor from the minority party to be chairman and, I think, deserves congratulations for that decision.
“Horsham District is a great place to live and work in - we recently made the number five Best Borough to live in as identified by the Sunday Times.
“The council is seeking in very challenging times to continue to sustain progress and change for the benefit of all the people of Horsham and District.
“I hope that as chairman I can make my contribution to those efforts by working with our various communities, voluntary organisations and self help groups to ensure we support each other as a community in these difficult times.”
Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), who led the campaign in his own party for Mr Crosbie to become chairman, was elected vice chairman.
He said: “I am very honoured and delighted to take on the role as vice chairman and particularly pleased to be doing this in tandem with Leonard Crosbie. I was one of the proponents of Leonard within the Conservative Group, who were then resistant to the idea.
“It’s a non political role and to treat that position as political is not consitutional and it undermines the role as chairman, who represents the council whatever their views.”