Ex-mayor Pat voted in as next vice-chairman

Pat Dillon, always one to get stuck in - like he did here for Armed Forces Day - will be Arun District Council's next vice-chairman
Pat Dillon, always one to get stuck in - like he did here for Armed Forces Day - will be Arun District Council's next vice-chairman

A secret vote using a ballot box dating back decades saw a former Bognor mayor named Arun District Council’s new vice-chairman for the next civic year.

Pat Dillon, who will go on to serve as chairman in 2019/20, was elected by Arun’s full council on Wednesday (March 7) by 36 votes to 0, with nine abstentions.

In line with the council’s constitution, councillors cast their vote in secret – despite no-one else putting their name forward.

But in a nostalgic twist, chief executive Nigel Lynn revealed an old wooden ballot box, believed to date back to the 1960s, found during a clear-out.

Mr Dillon, who served as Bognor town mayor between 2016 and 2017, said: “I have spent many years in public service both as a district councillor, town councillor, mayor and through my involvement with Arun Arts and I look forward to continuing this service as an ambassador for Arun District Council. I pride myself on always doing my best and I shall continue to do so as I serve as vice-chairman and, looking ahead, as chairman the following year. I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity and will be committed to Arun and its residents.”

The chairman for 2018/19 will be Littlehampton’s Alan Gammon.