Results mean 18 new faces will join district council

New Billingshurst and Shipley councillors Kate Rowbottom and Adam Breacher
New Billingshurst and Shipley councillors Kate Rowbottom and Adam Breacher

THE ELECTION results will see 18 new faces joining Horsham District Council for a four-year term.

As the count concluded last Friday it emerged that councillors elected for the first time will serve across 14 wards throughout the Horsham district.

Bramber, Forest and Broadbridge Heath wards will all be headed by a new set of councillors.

More than half of the newly elected represent Conservative, three of whom are under 26 years of age.

Laurence Deakins, 25, (Con, Denne) now shares the Denne Ward with Liberal Democrat David Sheldon.

Mr Deakins replaces Sheila Dale, a Liberal Democrat who decided not to stand for re-election.

Mr Deakins said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win and it’s an honour to represent the area I have lived in and grown up in for 25 years.

“Nearly ten years ago, when I was 15, I started helping out with the elections and I have been a member of the Conservative Party ever since. I want to stand up for the local residents who have been my neighbours for the past 25 years and represent them the best I can.”

Referring to the thousands of homes due to be built in the West of Horsham development, he said: “I want to make sure the housing is planned as best as possible.

“I’m aware the decision has been made, but from now I want to make sure it’s correctly planned and that there will be minimal impact on the residents during the construction of the new homes.”

Another young councillor is 26-year-old Adam Breacher (Con), who fought off competition from 11 candidates to represent the Billingshurst and Shipley Ward alongside Gordon Lindsay (Con) and Kate Rowbottom (Con).

He said: “I’m very, very happy with the result. It’s a great effort, members of the party and ex-councillors have all worked extremely hard to secure this. The three of us work well together, and we’ve shown that we can successfully fight at election time.’’

He added: “We’re a strong unit and I thoroughly look forward to being part of Horsham District Council.”

Robert Nye (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham), and leader of the council in the run-up to the elections, welcomed the new members.

He said: “It is common to have a large proportion of the councillors as new.

“When I came in over half were new and I said then that a lot of work needs to be done to get the induction programmes up to a better standard, which I believe they now are.

“They have been given ‘buddies’ so the only thing that we need to do now is get them up to speed as quickly as possibly, so it can be daunting for them - what a councillor does is very diverse so it can be quite difficult to pick up quickly.

“One of the things we’ve been accused of is not having enough representation in the town centre but now we have lots, even more so than the Liberal Democrats, and I’m confident they will bring something very positive to the table.”