There were plenty of changes across the county after Thursday’s poll, but the in the district only one division changed hands with Horsham East flipping from Conservative to Lib Dem.
Jay Mercer will be joined at County Hall by fellow Lib Dems Nigel Dennis, who was re-elected in Horsham Hurst, and John Milne, who succeeds Morwen Millson in Horsham Riverside.
Mr Mercer said: “We’re really pleased that Horsham voters have shown they want change and trusted us to make it happen. The elections remind us all that the Tories only have a minority of the vote in the Horsham area; it’s only the system that keeps them in power. We have two years until the next district elections to do something about that.”
Mr Milne added: “It’s an honour to represent the people of Riverside. The strength of feeling that Horsham town is being poorly served by both our District and County Councils is growing. I share the view that too many decisions are pushed through without proper consultation. This has to stop.”
Conservative Andrew Baldwin’s decision to switch divisions paid off as he was elected to Holbrook.
Other Tory councillors returning are Christian Mitchell (Broadbridge) Nigel Jupp (Southwater and Nuthurst), Amanda Jupp (Billingshurst) and council leader Paul Marshall (Storrington).
New Conservative county councillors who held on to seats previously held by Tories stepping down are: Katie Nagel (St Leonard’s Forest), Paul Linehan (Bramber Castle), Charlotte Kenyon (Pulborough) and Sarah Payne (Henfield).
Mr Linehan said: “I am delighted and privileged to be elected to serve the residents of Bramber Castle and West Sussex.
“Over the coming four years I will be working to support our local economic recovery and growth. Another priority of mine will be to continue improving education and children’s services and to be a strong voice for our young residents, including those who are vulnerable.
“I am passionate about improving the environment of our county and I look forward to working to make our area a better place to live and work.”
Ms Payne added: “I feel honoured to have been elected to serve the community which I love so much and look forward the work which lies ahead.”
Meanwhile Lib Dem Martin Boffey won a Horsham District Council by-election for Trafalgar triggered by the death of Leonard Crosbie.
He said: “I’m thrilled to have won the Trafalgar by-election and am humbled and grateful that so many of the residents of this wonderful neighbourhood have put their faith in me.
“It is striking that the turnout in Trafalgar was very nearly 50 per cent, which was higher than any of the County elections. This illustrates that the people of this community wanted to send a message to the Conservative-led District Council about how badly they feel they have been treated, in particular regarding the proposals for Rookwood Golf Course.
“I look forward to getting on with the job of making sure their voice is heard on this and other issues of concern.”
Billingshurst: Amanda Jupp, Conservative- 2051 Elected, Christopher Henson, Labour - 723, Chris Geeson, Liberal Democrats - 719, Emma Rothwell, Green Party - 375.
Bramber Castle: Paul Linehan, Conservative - 1669 Elected, Simon Birnstingl, Labour - 831, Mike Croker, Green Party - 762, Nick Hopkinson, Liberal Democrats - 603.
Broadbridge: Christian Mitchell, Conservative - 1837 Elected, Belinda Walters, Liberal Democrats - 1010, Catherine Ross, Green Party - 434, Joanne Kavanagh, Labour- 307.
Henfield: Sarah Payne, Conservative - 2117 Elected, Fiona Ayres, Labour - 944, Celia Emmott, Green Party - 608, David Epps, Liberal Democrats - 303.
Holbrook: Andrew Baldwin, Conservative - 1660 Elected, Ruth Fletcher, Liberal Democrats - 1537, Ray Chapman, Labour - 431.
Horsham East: Jay Mercer, Liberal Democrats- 1490 Elected, Ross Dye, Conservative - 1388, Gerard Kavanagh, Labour - 433, Ferial MacTavish, Green Party - 302.
Horsham Hurst: Nigel Dennis, Liberal Democrats - 2406 Elected, David Thompson, Conservative - 101, Carol Hayton, Labour - 617.
Horsham Riverside: John Milne, Liberal Democrats - 1653 Elected, Tony Hogben, Conservative - 1244, David Hide, Labour - 489, Jim Duggan, The Peace Party - Non-violence, Justice, Environment - 208.
Pulborough: Charlotte Kenyon, Conservative - 2303 Elected, Jon Campbell, Green Party - 577, Alex Beveridge, Liberal Democrats - 546, Nick Dalton, Labour - 440, Jo Hughes, The For Britain Movement - 118.
Southwater and Nuthurst: Nigel Jupp, Conservative - 1807 Elected, Nick Grant, Liberal Democrats - 1112, Morag Warrack, Green Party - 422, Kevin O’Sullivan, Labour - 330.
St Leonard’s Forest: Katie Nagel, Conservative - 1418 Elected, Sam Raby, Liberal Democrats - 787, Sara Loewenthal, Labour - 394.
Storrington: Paul Marshall, Conservative, 2594 Elected, Claudia Fisher, Green Party - 1294, James Ross, Labour - 420, Ian Miles, Liberal Democrats - 250.