Worthing councillors coy over leadership challenge desires

WH 230514 Adur and Worthing local elections count. Paul Yallop left and Neil Parkin. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140523-183750001
WH 230514 Adur and Worthing local elections count. Paul Yallop left and Neil Parkin. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140523-183750001

CONSERVATIVE councillors are remaining coy over their desires to take over as Worthing Borough Council leader after Paul Yallop’s shock resignation this week.

The Herald contacted a number of cabinet members and backbenchers for comment on their interest in the role.

Heene’s Paul High is the only member to hint of his interest, stating ‘if asked, I would consider it’.

Experienced Selden councillor Roger Oakley ruled himself out of the running, as did newcomer Edward Crouch.

Michael Cloake, Mark Nolan, Daniel Humphreys and deputy leader Bryan Turner were among those declining to comment.

In response to the news, Liberal Democrat leader Keith Sunderland and fellow Lib Dem colleague Bob Smytherman both tipped Mr Nolan, who retained his Goring seat by a huge majority in last year’s elections, to take charge.

“I can understand Paul’s reasoning but I have certainly found him to be very open and has tried to do a good job,” said Mr Sunderland.

“Mark Nolan does work on principles and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got it.”

Mr Smytherman added his thanks to Mr Yallop, who he described as a leader ‘committed to Worthing’.

He said: “This is why we need to pay our political leaders properly. It is a full- time job and if you have a family and a full-time job, it is very difficult.

“Mark would be my tip but Bryan Turner could also take over but he is also a county councillor.”

Among Mr Yallop’s most high-profile decisions was to lead the way in bringing off-street car parking in-house, ending the ten-year reign of private firm NCP.

Despite concerns from opposition councillors, he spoke strongly in favour of the move, which has seen £1 per hour parking increase visitors to council car parks.

For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, January 8.