THE new Chair of Lewes District Council is Tony Nicholson, who was elected at the annual meeting on Wednesday.
And the Vice-Chair is Ruth O’Keeffe – who is believed to be the first Independent councillor to take the role.
Cllr Nicholson, who represents Seaford East, takes over from Cllr Eileen Russell.
He has lived in Seaford for 11 years and has been a district councillor since 2007. He was the Leader of the Council from May 2011 until February 2012.
Cllr Nicholson said: “This council year is one of the most auspicious for some time.
“We have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and The Olympics. We will also commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
“I am honoured the council has chosen me and I will seek to carry out my duties in the best traditions of the council.
“I want to raise the profile of the District and aim to meet with as many of the residents as I can during my year.”
In his working life, Cllr Nicholson was a solicitor in Leicestershire for more than 30 years. He is married to Angela, who will be his Consort, and has two daughters and two grandchildren.
If any local organisation would like to invite Cllr Nicholson to their local event please contact the Civic Office on 01273 484112.
Cllr O’Keeffe, who represents Lewes Priory Ward, is also a member of East Sussex County Council and Lewes Town Council.
She was proposed by the Conservative group and pipped Cllr John Stockdale 22-17 in the vote.
She said: “I’m really pleased and proud to have won the confidence of my peers. I hope to show I can do a good job in this role.”
Interestingly, her badge of office depicts a lion’s head with its hindquarters replaced by a sealion’s tail – reflecting the maritime connections of the District.