Worthing’s new mayor – and the town’s youngest-ever deputy mayor – were sworn into office this afternoon.
A packed town hall witnessed councillor Sean McDonald and Alex Harman take their respective roles, in a tradition dating back to 1890.
Mr McDonald, councillor for Northbrook ward, takes over from outgoing mayor Michael Donin
He said: “During my year I hope I can emulate previous mayors who have served with such distinction. I will continue to promote Worthing to uncover the hidden gems in our town.”
Mr Mcdonald grew up in Hove and completed his education at Northbrook College.
He worked for HMRC in Durrington before joining Sussex Police in the mid 1980s.
He worked on a number of high-profile investigations, including the ‘Black Widow’ murder case.
He retired from the force in 2012 after 30 years’ service and was elected to Northbrook ward in 2014.
Mr McDonald’s inauguration was attended by his family and friends, including those who had travelled from Atlanta, New York and Massachusetts.
Special guests included William Tree, great grandson of William George Tree, who was mayor of Worthing between 1935 and 1936.
St Barnabas House hospice, Worthing Samaritans and Coastal West Sussex Mind will be Mr McDonald’s chosen charities but he has set up a charity committee to champion the causes of other charities who get in touch.
The mayor making ceremony also saw Selden’s Alex Harman, 22, elected as deputy mayor.
He will become the town’s youngest-ever mayor next year, after Mr McDonald’s term of office is completed.
David Price and Josh Davies were also presented with their badges in their roles as youth mayor and deputy youth mayor.
Mr McDonald will be joined by councillor Vicky Vaughan as his mayoress.
Outgoing mayor Michael Donin, who raised more than £17,000 for his three charities, Guild Care, Kamelia Kids and Canadian Roots, paid tribute to staff and his partner, Linda, who served as his mayoress.
During his two years as mayor and deputy mayor, the couple attended around 500 events.
He said: “My hope for the future of the mayoralty is that the role will continue to adapt and gets all the support it needs to do the job well.
“I want to wish all the members and officers all the best in the future and continue making Worthing the best town in Sussex to live in and work in.”
The event was broadcast live on social media by councillor Edward Crouch.