‘Delighted and thrilled’ after Westbourne by-election victory

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A ‘NEW boy’ on the block is set to bring his wealth of experience to Chichester District Council.

Mark Dunn triumphed in the Westbourne by-election on October 17, retaining the seat for the Conservative Party.

He said he was ‘delighted and thrilled ‘to have won his site after a long career in local government.

“I’m a new boy for the district but I know my way around the district council,” he said this week.

Earlier this year, Cllr Dunn lost his seat on West Sussex County Council to UKIP’s Sandra James.

He said at that point he did not see himself getting involved in local politics again.

“I thought ‘that’s the end of it’.

“I rather enjoyed my brief retirement.”

His mind was changed after the previous councillor Maureen Elliott retired because of poor health and they could not find another candidate to stand in her place for the Conservatives.

“It’s local government, I’m familiar with the process,” he said after his victory.

“The responsibilities are very different though.”

Following a district council meeting on Thursday (October 24), he said he was enjoying getting back into the flow.

“It’s a delight. It’s fun representing people and getting involved in political debate.”

He described housing development as the ‘single most important issue for Westbourne’.

“Westbourne is one of those wards that has had more than its fair share of housing development. Its infrastructure is creaking,” he said, adding it was an issue he felt strongly about.

Once again, he came up against UKIP in an election, but this time his 184 votes were enough to see off all his opponents, including UKIP, whose candidate Alicia Denny got 106.

“I wasn’t confident actually,” he said.

“I think at present there two things to be said.

“There’s a good deal of apathy about party politics in general.

“Anything to do with government is inviting a protest.”

He described UKIP as a protest vote, but praised all the candidates.

“The greens put in a very good show,” he said.

Cllr Dunn is a former chairman and cabinet member of West Sussex County Council.