Here’s why leader of Worthing Borough Council is stepping down

Worthing Borough Council’s leader is stepping down after six and half years in the post.

Daniel Humphreys is stepping down as leader of Worthing Borough Council next month

Announcing the news, Daniel Humphreys described leading the council as ‘one of the proudest and most rewarding experiences of my life’.

But he described how the time had come to move on and pursue a new opportunity as he has been offered a new post in public affairs outside of Worthing.

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However he will continue to represent Offington as a ward councillor.

He said: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to fellow councillors, all the staff at Worthing Borough Council and the members of the community who have supported our work in recent years.”

The Conservative group on the council, which currently holds power, meets to elect a new leader on Monday November 8.

Mr Humphreys is due to officially step down as leader of Worthing Borough Council at an extraordinary council meeting which is already scheduled for Wednesday November 10 and at which a new leader will be elected by all councillors.

Following the resignation of Tim Wills, the Conservatives have 18 seats, Labour 15, and the Lib Dems three.

In the event of a tie, the mayor’s casting vote would be used, meaning control of the administration will likely remain in the hands of the Conservatives.

Reflecting on his time as leader, Mr Humphreys described how the council had overhauled its digital capabilities to provide better and more efficient services, secured more than £10million funding for regeneration schemes, provided nationally recognised support for the local NHS through its ‘social prescribing’ scheme and the construction of new GP surgeries, reduced the number of people sleeping rough and made steps forward in improving the environment and the fight against climate change.

This, he said, had culminated in Worthing Borough Council alongside Adur District Council with which it shares officer services, being shortlisted for two national ‘Council of the Year’ awards in 2020.

He added: “I am very proud of the many achievements of our team at Worthing Borough Council.

“Securing funding for projects such as the redevelopment of Teville Gate and Union Place, driving forward the plans to build the new town centre health hub and making Worthing the first town in the South East to enjoy the benefits of ultrafast broadband will all pay dividends for decades to come.

“But the council’s response to support the community when the pandemic and lockdown hit in March 2020 will always stand out as a time when Worthing Borough Council really came into its own.”