Conservatives retain control of West Sussex County Council

The Conservatives have retained control of West Sussex County Council but with a reduced majority.

The new composition of the 70-member council is: Conservatives: 48 councillors, Liberal Democrats: 10 councillors, Labour: 9 councillors, Green Party: 1 councillor, Independent: 1 councillor and Local Alliance: 1 councillor.

The Conservatives gained Rustington (Alison Cooper) and Littlehampton Town (David Briton) from the Lib Dems, but the Lib Dems picked up Chichester West (Julian Joy), Burgess Hill North (Stuart Condie), Burgess Hill East (Richard Cherry) and Horsham East (Jay Mercer).

Independent Ian Gibson was elected in Imberdown - East Grinstead and the Local Alliance’s Donna Johnson took Selsey. Both elected Conservatives in 2017.

There was only one change in Crawley, with Labour’s group leader Michael Jones losing to Conservative Zach Ali in Southgate and Gossops Green.

But the real fireworks were in Worthing, where Labour took five of the nine seats on offer, four from the Conservatives and one from the Lib Dems.

Meanwhile Sarah Sharp’s win in Chichester South means the Green Party will have its first seat at County Hall.

Becky Shaw, chief executive of West Sussex County Council said: “The circumstances of these elections have been very unusual for all involved, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the district and borough councils for running the local elections so efficiently and safely.

County Hall Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2105051 SUS-210505-160437001

“A lot of work and effort goes into running any election, but the added challenges of running an election during the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be underestimated. Thank you as well to everyone who ran the network of polling stations across the county and worked so hard to keep residents safe whilst they used their democratic right to vote.”

The first meeting of the new-look council will be on Friday May 21, when the chairman, the leader of the council and all of the council’s committees will be appointed.