The new chairman of Adur District Council has praised his predecessor as an ‘impossible act to follow’ and a ‘star performer’.
George Barton (Con, Peverel) took over the reins from Joss Loader (Ind, Marine) on Thursday evening (May 16).
Accepting his chain of office, Cllr Barton said of Cllr Loader: “She wasn’t a hard act to follow at all – she’s an impossible act to follow. She was absolutely amazing.”
There was a ripple of laughter when he added: “She’s better looking than me for a start. She’s more intelligent than me. She’s got many, many more contacts than I have and she’s much more persuasive than me.
“Joss has got everything that makes for a great – not just a good – but a great council chairperson.
“And that’s exactly what she’s been.”
Cllr Loader was the district’s first independent chairman for 15 years.
During her term, she led the way in a community appeal which provided 15 publicly accessible defibrillators for towns and villages across Adur.
The appeal was extremely personal to her, having lost her father to a catastrophic heart attack more than 30 years ago, when such equipment was not available.
Cllr Loader said: “If just one resident’s life can be saved, I shall consider it a job very well done.”
Cllr Barton selected Electric Storm Youth to be his chosen charity.
The group is dedicated to helping young people in Lancing and Sompting to improve their quality of life by building their social and personal development.
Cllr Barton described them as ‘an inspirational and dynamic’ charity discouraging antisocial behaviour.
The new vice chairman is Andy McGregor, who lives in Shoreham and represents Widewater ward.