Tory confirmed as next council chairman two years after being sacked as chairman-elect

Christian MItchell at the Dinosaur Island official opening in Southwater Country Park  11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-095754008
Christian MItchell at the Dinosaur Island official opening in Southwater Country Park 11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-095754008

Two years after being effectively sacked as chairman-elect by his own party a Conservative councillor has been confirmed as the next holder of the council’s top ceremonial office.

Christian Mitchell, who has served as vice-chairman of Horsham District Council since May 2014 is set to take over from current chairman Tricia Youtan (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham) in May.

He was also vice-chairman in 2013/14 under then chairman Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), but was effectively sacked as chairman-elect in February 2014 by his own party in a whipped vote.

Afterwards he said he had paid the price for supporting his residents by opposing the proposed North Horsham development.

At last Wednesday’s Full Council meeting Mr Mitchell (Con, Holbrook West) was confirmed as the next chairman, with Roger Clarke (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) set to succeed him as vice-chairman for 2016/17.

Toni Bradnum (Con, Nuthurst), who proposed Mr Mitchell, said she expected he would carry out the role with the ‘flair and enthusiasm we have come to expect from him’.

Seconding the proposal Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) added: “I think he will be a great asset to continue on the chairmanship into the next year.”

Mr Clarke was proposed by Kate Rowbottom (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) and seconded by John Childow (Con, Southwater).

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