Echoing the ‘make America great again’ slogan of disgraced former USA president Donald Trump, Conservative councillor Mike Mendoza said he could not wait to sort out the ‘mess’ inherited from previous administrations.
“Thank you to the residents of Lancing who returned a Conservative led council for parish,” he said.
“I am very honoured and privileged to be given this position and thank my fellow councillors for their faith in me.
“We have a lot of work to do to get Lancing great again after almost five years of UKIP and Independent administration. We will sort some of the mess that we have inherited.
“Some things will take longer than we would like, but Monks Rec is a priority for us – we will throw away the five year plan and make it happen quicker.
“We have also made ‘peace’ with our friends at Adur District Council. Sadly previous administrations saw Adur as the ‘enemy’.
“We will gain a lot of benefits by working with Adur. A lot more to happen for our wonderful Lancing community with details coming soon.”
Thirteen of Lancing Parish Council’s 16 seats are now held by the Conservatives – a record number for the village, five years after it became the only UKIP controlled council in the UK.
Several years ago, a number of UKIP parish councillors left the party and became Independent amid concerns over the party’s apparent alignment with far-right figures such as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson.
Mr Mendoza is a former chairman of Adur District Council, with decades of experience in local government.
Following stints in the media including Latest TV, he said he is now virtually retired and dedicating himself to public life, with a focus on bettering life for retirees and disabled residents.
He has supported charities including the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, is a former chairman of the Variety Club of Great Britain and a former Chairman of Whoopsadaisy Children’s Charity.
Conservative councillor Ann Bridges will serve as vice chairman of the parish council, having been chairman five times previously.
Ms Bridges said: “I have been a parish councillor for several years and feel privileged to be appointed vice chair of the parish council. I have always worked for the community of Lancing and shall continue to do so, including working towards keeping our children and family centres open.”