Tory leader at Chichester District Council standing down

Tony Dignum has led Chichester District Council for the last four years
Tony Dignum has led Chichester District Council for the last four years

The Conservative leader of Chichester District Council is standing down from his position.

At last week’s election the Tory group lost its overall majority and now holds exactly half, 18, of 36 seats.

Beforehand the Conservatives had 79 per cent of the seats, but now only have 50 per cent.

The Lib Dems have 11 seats, Labour, the Greens and Local Alliance in Selsey all have two councillors, with one independent.

Tony Dignum, who has led the council since 2015, is standing down as leader.

He said leading the council with no overall control ‘requires a new approach best delivered by someone else’.

He added: “I have had a good innings as a cabinet member for seven years and as leader of the council for four years. I am older than other colleagues, so it is probably a good time to reduce my workload.”

He described a number of achievements at the council since 2015 including a generous council tax support scheme, expanding services for the homeless, investing to secure employment for example opening the Enterprise Gateway in Chichester, ensuring services are efficient as possible, setting one of the lowest council taxes in the county, protecting vital services from cuts, maintaining an efficient waste and recycling service and launching a campaign to reduce litter.

Asked about what would happen next given the current political balance of the council, deputy leader Eileen Lintill said: “With no overall majority it is essential that the main parties come together to decide the way forward and how they can work together to ensure that we continue to do our best for the community. This will be happening over the next few days.”