Local Elections 2023 — who will run Arun after No Overall Control result?
Also changes at Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Town Councils and surprise at Felpham Parish
by Jan Cosgrove, Editor
Before the election on 4th May, The Herald made a prediction that the outcome would be 17 Con 17 Lib Dem 8 Lab 6 Green and 6 Ind. And until late on 5th May the count was following this trend very closely. Until the result for Rustington West, where the Lib Dems had all three seats in the last council. However, against the national trend and indeed the local, 3 Conservatives took the places.
The new Council make up is thus (with gains/losses shown)
CON 20 (-1) Lib Dem 14 (-8) LAB 8 (+7) GREEN 6 (+3) IND Group4 (-2) OTHER 2 (-2)
The Tories thus are the largest Group, no doubt they will seek to run a minority administration as in 2022–23. But this is unlikely to sit comfortably with the other groups, so the question is whether eg Labour, LibDems, Greens and Independent might seek to form an alliance along agreed lines for the next four years.
Both Labour and Greens have made most progress, at the expense of both Conservative and Lib Dems. The former took Pevensey Ward in Bognor, River and Courtwick-with-Toddington in Littlehampton, the latter Arundel&Walberton plus Barnham. Roger Nash and Simon McDougall took the Pevensey seats where Independent Sandra Daniels lost to them.
At Bersted Ward, Keir Greenway (Con) took a seat off the Lib Dems who returned Martin Lury and Gill Yeates. In Hotham Ward, Independent Steve Goodheart retained his seat and has been joined by Bob Waterhouse (LibDem). In Marine Ward, Jim Brooks (Ind) was the clear winner and also Matt Stanley was returned for the Lib Dems. In Orchard Ward, 2 Lib Dems took the seats.
At Pagham, 2 Independents retained their seats, the same for the Independent and Conservative candidates at Middleton on Sea.
See FULL DISTRICT RESULTS HERE — click on each Ward Name to see names of all those elected and votes cast.
Parish Results where there were Polls
Of the 24 parishes in Arun, only 3 were subject to Polls on 4th May. The others had all been determined before because there had been only the basic required number of candidates, or less, to trigger a ballot. In those 21 parishes, the councillors have not been voted for, they have been elected unopposed.
The three exceptions are Bognor Regis Town, Littlehampton Town and Felpham Parish Councils. At Bognor, Lib Dems progressed to take 10 seats, thus a majority (consolation for their losses at Arun maybe) Labour likewise took 9 of the 15 seats at Littlehampton.
Felpham Parish Council had its first Poll in 30 years, apparently, and at Felpham East, all 8 seats were grabbed by the Felpham Local Residents Alliance, similarly at Felpham West, the Alliance took 8 of the 9. This is a new situation, it remains to be seen how the Alliance seeks to take matters forward. One of their number, Tom Harty, also was elected as District Councillor for Felpham East under an Independent label, though whether he will join the Independent Group there remains to be seen.
See list of Parish Councillors elected on 4th May HERE — click on each Parish Ward Name to see names of all those elected and votes cast.
See list of Parish Councils where councillors returned unopposed HERE
Only 1 Conservative controlled Council in West Sussex
The nationwide rout of the Conservatives extended in our County, only Arun marginally resisted the trend. At Chichester, the Lib Dems now have a majority, as they do at Horsham. At Worthing and Crawley, Labour increased their majorities and Mid-Sussex went to No Overall Control. There was no Poll at Adur this year, the balance is 16 Con, 9 Lab, 2 Green, 2 Other.
In Brighton and Hove Labour routed the Greens to form a large majority. In Lewes, 19 Tory Cllrs lost their seats with No Overall Control and equal size Lab Lib Dem and Green groups returned.