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District Dispatch - 24 May 2023

I'd like to start my first district dispatch by introducing myself. I'm Adrian Moss, one of the district councillors for Harbour Villages, and I am the new leader of Chichester District Council.

Councillor Adrian Moss, Leader of Chichester District Council

I am no stranger to the council - with 13 years' experience of being a district councillor in total. This includes previously holding the roles of Leader of the Opposition and Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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.

Last week, we had our first full council meeting since the election. At this meeting we chose our new Chairman, Clare Apel, and Vice Chairman, John Cross. They are both looking forward to meeting you at the various community activities that are scheduled over the months ahead.

Our new cabinet was also announced. Jonathan Brown, is the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy. Mark Chilton is Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate Services and Chichester Contract Services; Tracie Bangert is Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing; David Betts, is Cabinet Member for Housing and Revenues and Benefits; Bill Brisbane is Cabinet Member for Planning; Jess Brown-Fuller is Cabinet Member for Culture and Events; and, Harsha Desai is Cabinet Member for Growth and Place. You can find the councillor for your area on our Your Councillors webpage (opens new window).

Every week, we will update you on some of the key projects that we are working on within this column.

We are continuing to work with our partners to do everything we can to support Midhurst following the dreadful hotel fire. Work is under way to shore up the fire-damaged buildings. This started on Monday 15 May, and it is expected to take seven weeks to complete. Although it is the owners' responsibility to shore up and preserve the listed buildings, South Downs National Park Authority, with support from our council and West Sussex County Council, stepped in when it became apparent that the owners were unable to access insurance payments to carry out a viable solution in a reasonable timeframe. We understand how challenging and frustrating this has been for everyone in Midhurst. This has been a very complex situation with very real health and safety issues. We have produced a  which outlines the action that has been taken by the partners involved. We are continuing to support the businesses in a variety of ways, from support from one of our Economic Development Officers, through to grants. Please show your support for Midhurst if you can by visiting and supporting the local businesses. 

Next week, we will be welcoming back the popular Roman Week. Led by our Novium Museum, you can enjoy a diverse programme of events celebrating the rich Roman heritage of Chichester. The week begins with an unmissable Roman re-enactment in Chichester's Priory Park on Tuesday 30 May and is not to be missed. You can find out the full details on the Novium Museum's What's On page (opens new window).

To coincide with Roman Week, our Archaeologist, James Kenny, is also leading a further archaeological dig, with the hope of uncovering more secrets beneath Priory Park. James will be working with volunteer archaeologists from the Chichester and District Archaeology Society. On Saturday 3 June, members of the public are encouraged to come along and observe the dig. James will give a series of talks throughout the day, providing the opportunity to find out more about the team's discoveries, at 10am; 12 midday; and 3pm. You can find out more about this through our recent article on the Priory Park dig.

Best Wishes

Cllr Adrian Moss

Leader of Chichester District Council

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