Howard Bloom elected as new Crawley Borough Council leader

Dr Howard Bloom Howard Bloom has worked as a GP in Crawley for many years

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A new leader has been voted in at a West Sussex council, seven weeks after his predecessor resigned due to stress.

Howard Bloom was elected by 20 votes to 17 at a Crawley Borough Council meeting on Thursday night.

His predecessor, Bob Lanzer, stood down in August following investigations into claims of harassment.

Conservative Dr Bloom, who became council leader with immediate effect, has worked as a GP in the town for many years.

Mr Lanzer's resignation followed a claim by former Conservative councillor Karl Williamson, who reported him to the party and the police.

Bob Lanzer Bob Lanzer resigned due to stress

Mr Lanzer made a similar claim to Sussex Police against Mr Williamson, who has since left the Conservative party and joined UKIP.

Investigations by the force and the Conservative Party have both been dropped.

Mr Lanzer said he would continue to work as a councillor.

Dr Bloom, who represented Gossops Green on the council from 1984 to 1991 and was re-elected to represent the Southgate ward in 2006, said being elected as leader had given him a "new purpose".

His new cabinet sees housing councillor Richard Burrett also become deputy leader, and Claire Denman become cabinet member for customer and corporate services.

"I am very enthusiastic about my role and the new challenges ahead," Dr Bloom said.

"All my efforts are centred on improving Crawley. This is an exceptional place with fantastic opportunities."

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