I'm Eileen Lintill, the district councillor for Petworth and I am the new leader of Chichester District Council. I'm no stranger to the council - having been a district councillor now for 12 years. This included previously holding the role for Deputy Leader and cabinet member for leisure and community services.

I feel incredibly privileged to take on the role of Leader and I am already really enjoying this new challenge. I have a great team around me and you can be assured that our aim is to work with you to make sure that the district remains one of the best places to work, live and visit. Over the coming months, I will update you on some of the key projects that we are working on.

Our Novium Museum has just launched its 'Sea's the Day' exhibition, which celebrates Selsey's fishing industry. What many people are unaware of is the important role this industry plays within our district. The industry has been going strong for over 1,000 years and contributes a staggering £1.5 million a year to the local economy. We have been working with The Selsey Fishery and Selsey Town Council to educate people about how they can support their local fishing community and make sure that this important industry thrives in the future. The project has been funded by a £35,800 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Please try and visit the exhibition and support our local fishermen and women.

The Sea's the Day project is also part of the Selsey Vision work. Chichester, Petworth, Midhurst, Selsey and now East Wittering and Bracklesham currently have, or are developing, visions for their areas. We are working with organisations and community groups from across the district to help deliver improvements to our city and towns. These improvements are in direct response to your feedback and the aspirations of key organisations, which was gathered when each vision was developed.

There are many different elements involved in this work, and they differ for each area, but a key theme is helping to support our local high streets. We are doing this in a number of ways, from shop front grants, to business support, to retail training. We are also currently developing an events strategy for the district to help encourage more people to visit our towns and city. Many people believe that we own the shops; are responsible for setting business rates; set rental rates; and, decide who goes in which shop, but we have no control over any of these issues. Instead, we are identifying ways we can help and support local businesses during the current economic climate. We also want to urge local residents to buy locally wherever possible. We'll be updating you further on this work over the coming months, including details of Chichester's summer street party, which will take place in the city centre on Thursday 22 August between 4pm and 8pm.

Best wishes
Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council