New Arun chair 'delighted and honoured'

The new chair of Arun District Council has described being ‘delighted and honoured’ to be selected for the position.
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Samantha-Jayne Staniforth (Con, Orchard) took the chains of office at a meeting on Wednesday night (May 18) with two of her sons present in the Civic Centre’s public gallery.

Meanwhile Alison Cooper (Con, Rustington East) will serve as vice-chair for the 2022/23 civic year.

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Cllr Staniforth said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been voted as chair of Arun District Council. As an ambassador of the council, I am looking forward to the year ahead and the opportunities that it will bring to highlight our wonderful district and the people in it. I am also looking forward to leading council meetings in a fair and ordered manner and working with all parties to ensure that we do the best for the residents of the district.”

Alison Cooper and Samantha-Jayne StaniforthAlison Cooper and Samantha-Jayne Staniforth
Alison Cooper and Samantha-Jayne Staniforth

Cllr Cooper added: “Being elected as vice chair of the council is a great privilege and I look forward to working alongside Cllr Staniforth support her in fulfilling her duties in this special Jubilee year. As a West Sussex county councillor and Rustington parish councillor believe my knowledge and experience will assist us to form a great team for the benefit of the district.”

Jim Brooks (Ind, Marine) started the meeting and gave thanks to all those who supported him during his year as chair of the council.

He also acknowledged the challenging circumstances of this, and the last two years. He announced that he will be donating funds to his chosen charity, Youth Music, and also to the chosen charities of past chairs, Amanda Worne (2020/21) PACSO and Jeanette Warr (2019/20) Snowdrop Trust, due to the impact that COVID-19 had on their fundraising activities.

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At the same meeting Conservative Shaun Gunner was re-elected as council leader, while Lib Dem James Walsh will remain leader of the opposition.

Mr Gunner said: “We are going to continue with the priorities of this district such as delivering projects as part of the Levelling Up programme, supporting high streets, public realm work, country parks, leisure facilities and providing more council houses. This council is focused on delivering for the people of Arun, making it a better place to live, work and visit.”