Bognor Regis Town Council appoints new mayor

Bognor Regis town councillors at Monday's meeting. '(L-R) John Erskine, Claire Needs, Alison Sharples, Inna Erskine, Matt Stanley, Phil Woodall, Steve Goodheart, Wayne Smith, Samantha Staniforth, Henry Jones, Jeanette Warr, Kenton Batley, John Barrett and Jim Brooks
Bognor Regis town councillors at Monday's meeting. '(L-R) John Erskine, Claire Needs, Alison Sharples, Inna Erskine, Matt Stanley, Phil Woodall, Steve Goodheart, Wayne Smith, Samantha Staniforth, Henry Jones, Jeanette Warr, Kenton Batley, John Barrett and Jim Brooks

Councillor Phil Woodall has been appointed the new Mayor of Bognor Regis – his second time in the post.

Mr Woodall first took the chain of office in 2017 and speaking to the Observer after his appointment, he said he is ‘really looking forward’ to it.

“I enjoyed it last time,” he said.

“I will do things for the people and I am looking forward to going out and meeting voluntary organisations.

“Hopefully we will see some changes in Bognor Regis and get the regeneration plan off the ground, after so many years of it being promised. It would be good to see something positive.”

Mr Woodall said his chosen charity for the year will be SERV Sussex, which delivers blood, blood products, samples, notes and human infant milk between hospitals in Sussex, free of any charges to the local hospital trusts.

Explaining why he chose SERV Sussex, Mr Woodall said: “It’s a brilliant service that they offer and no one knows when they might need it.

“Last time, I chose specialist charities which support people with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease but anybody could need the help of SERV Sussex at any time.”

Predecessor Stephen Reynolds was one of the four Conservative councillors who lost their seat on the town council after the elections earlier this month.

Speaking at the start of Monday’s full town council meeting, Mr Reynolds said: “[After] serving on this council for eight years, I unfortunately didn’t get re-elected but it has been a really special privilege to serve as mayor.”

On its website, the town council thanked Mr Reynolds ‘for all his work over the past term’.

The Liberal Democrats took the most seats on Bognor Regis Town Council after the elections earlier this month. The Conservatives, who had four councillors going into the election, now have no town council seats. The Lib Dems have ten seats, with five independents and one Labour councillor.

Both Mr Woodall and fellow Independent councillor Mr Goodheart, who was appointed deputy mayor, will sit on the policy and resources committee, which will be chaired and vice-chaired by Lib Dem councillors Matt Stanley and John Erskine respectively.

The community engagement and environment committee will be chaired by Wayne Smith (LD) and vice-chaired by John Barrett (LD).

The planning and licensing committee will be chaired by councillor Goodheart. Jeanette Warr (LD) will be the vice-chairman.

Kenton Batley (LD) has been appointed to chair the events, promotion and leisure committee with Inna Erskine (LD) as vice-chairman.

Lib Dem group leader Matt Stanley and Independent group leader Adam Cunard formed the mayoralty selection committee.