Arun council’s new chairman hits ground running

Dennis Wilde handing over the chain of office to Arun District Council's newest chairman, councillor Ann Smee
Dennis Wilde handing over the chain of office to Arun District Council's newest chairman, councillor Ann Smee

ARUN’S new chairman, councillor Ann Smee, hit the ground running, raising more than £400, minutes after accepting her chain of office.

Ann, who replaced out-going chairman Dennis Wilde as the ambassador for Arun District Council, hosted a charity raffle and auction event after her election ceremony at the Civic Centre, in Maltravers Road, raising an impressive £415 for her chosen charities.

Councillors from across the district praised Ann for taking up the position, with council leader Gill Brown, remarking that Ann was the “perfect” candidate for the job.

The meeting also saw councillors heralding Dennis for his successful year in office.The ceremony also saw councillor Terence Chapman elected as the vice-chairman of the council. Speaking of Ann, Mrs Brown said: “Being chairman of the council is not an easy job but I have no doubt that Ann will do very well and is the perfect choice for the job.”

During the her inauguration, Ann said: “I feel deeply honoured to have been elected to represent the council as chairman, especially in this exciting year of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and with the welcoming of the Olympic Torch to our district on July 16.

“I hope to attend as many charity and community events as I can in my year of office and I will be hosting events to raise funds for my chosen charities Combat Stress and the National Osteoporosis Society.”

Combat Stress provides a dedicated service for veterans whose mental health condition is often complex and long term. This service is not routinely available in the NHS or elsewhere.

The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The charity was established in 1986 and has since grown into a well respected national charity with approximately 25,000 members and more than 50 members of staff. Ann joined Arun as ward member for Bersted in 2005 and has been involved in a number of committees including licensing and enforcement, audit and governance, local development framework sub-committee as well as being the chairman of the housing and planning working group.

Married to Bill, they have four children between them with Ann’s son and daughter and Bill’s two sons. They also have four grandchildren.

During her working life, she has been employed predominantly in local government and the National Health Service.