Former Arun council chief made an OBE

A former long-standing council chief has been honoured by the Queen.

Retired Arun District Council chief executive Ian Sumnall has been appointed an OBE in the New Year honours list.

Mr Sumnall, who retired in November last year, after serving more than 26 years with the authority – almost 20 of them as chief executive – said he wanted to share the honour with his former colleagues.

“I am of course very proud at a personal level and for Sallie and our family, but also I hope all at Arun will share with me this honour, staff, councillors and the many people who work hard for the good of the public of Arun,” he said.

“It is down to everyone’s commitment to public service at Arun that this award has been made in my opinion and it was a privilege to be at the head of such a good organisation.”

Arun’s leader Gillian Brown was among the first to offer her congratulations to Mr Sumnall, who was the longest serving chief executive in West Sussex.

Cllr Mrs Brown said: “I am really delighted for Ian.

“He has dedicated his life to public service and his leadership qualities earned him the respect of councillors, staff and council partners.

“This OBE recognises his commitment and dedication not only to the people of Arun during his time as chief executive but to his work across government, local, regional and national level.

“It is a great achievement and Ian should be proud.

“Having worked closely with Ian for a number of years I believe he would say he considered this OBE to be a recognition of not only everything he achieved but everything that all Arun staff and councillors, present and past, managed to achieve during his time as chief executive. I warmly congratulate him and wish him all the very best in his future work.”

Mr Sumnall, who first joined Arun in 1985 as its chief planning and development officer, is now a consultant at the European Commission.