VOTE: New leader wanted

Applicants are being invited to become the new chief executive of Arun District Council.

The hopefuls for the position of the council’s top officer with a salary around six figures have until midday on April 18 to apply.

Preliminary interviews will be held during the next two weeks before those in the final line-up state their case to be considered on May 23.

The chief executive will be in charge of 400-plus staff and a local authority with a budget of £21m.

The chosen individual will be taking over from long-serving Ian Sumnall this autumn.

Those thinking of applying have been urged by Bognor Regis Civic Society to take the views of the town’s residents more into account.

Deputy chairman Hugh Coster said: “We have always regarded Ian Sumnall as an extremely bright and capable chief executive.

“But we would like to see the incoming chief executive steer Arun towards recognising and exploring the valuable diversity across the district by encouraging a greater and more meaningful public involvement in decision making in individual areas such as Bognor.

“This is in line with government policy and would create a greater sense of public ownership of council policies.”

BRighter Bognor chairman Stan Jonas said it welcomed the emphasis on the new chief executive driving forward the town’s regeneration and working with the private sector.

“We see the desperate need to achieve high-quality regeneration through partnership.

“Brighter Bognor is fed up with councils blaming each other.

“This is an opportunity for the ‘new face’ to improve relationships between district, parish, town and county councils.

“Bognor is the largest community in Arun. We need someone with imagination and determination to break down prejudice, build on the goodwill of residents and recognise its enormous potential.”

Mr Sumnall earns £114,000 a year – with a £5,000 car allowance – but the salary of the new chief executive is merely stated as ‘attractive’ in the job advert for his replacement.