West Sussex County Council

Boundary changes have occurred here. 2013 seats are an estimate of what the result would have been then if the new boundaries had been in place.

Election 2017 Results

Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change


Seats 201345 Seats 201756 Change+11

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 20138 Seats 20179 Change+1


Seats 20136 Seats 20175 Change−1


Seats 201310 Seats 2017- Change−10


Seats 20131 Seats 2017- Change−1
Change compared with

Latest Updates

Council leader survives confidence vote

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

Louise Goldsmith

West Sussex’s council leader, Louise Goldsmith, has survived a second confidence vote in as many months - after an inspection found failings with the county’s fire and rescue service.

Last month, opposition parties brought a vote of confidence over a damning Ofsted report which found the county’s children’s services were inadequate.

However the council, which has a large Conservative majority, rejected those calls.

Labour councillor Michael Jones, who brought the vote, slammed the “political decisions” he said were responsible for the failures.

Low vision services 'not evenly spread'

Odera Ezenna

Services available to people with very poor eyesight "are not evenly spread throughout West Sussex", the Royal National Institute for the Blind has said.

Responsibility was passed on to local authority following the Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to withdraw funding for low vision services in 2018.

Christine Glanville, the RNIB’s network manager for south east England, said at a health and adult social care select committee at West Sussex County Council, there were 5,000 people in Horsham and Mid Sussex living with sight loss. A number slightly above the national average.

Patients are referred elsewhere for help and have to pay for services usually provided freely across the rest of the county.

Ms Glanville added: “There is a need to reinstate a low vision service for those patients who’ve had no low vision service for over a year now.”

Meanwhile, Frances Russell, of Healthwatch West Sussex, said people were not aware of the help already available to them.

“I think there’s a real need to get this service sorted out and publicised.”

Investigation into cause of Adur bridge damage

Neville Dalton

Damaged glass panels on the Adur ferry bridge
Jacqui Peek

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds of damage to a footbridge across the River Adur - or have they?

Police and bridge owners West Sussex County Council are investigating the latest spate of damage to glass panels on the £10m Adur Ferry Bridge, which links Shoreham town centre with the beach.

The council says four panels, which cost about £1,000 each to repair, have been damaged in recent days.

Police are investigating reports of criminal damage by a group of youths, but the council wants to carry out tests to establish whether there was a recurrence of previous defects in the glass, which have been responsible for a number of previous similar incidents.

Investigations into a similar occurrence in 2014 established that impurities in the glass had caused some of the panels to shatter.

And a council spokesman said at least some of eight panels found damaged in January this year were the result of similar imperfections.

But the spokesman said the council would also be studying CCTV footage in case of other causes.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Officers attended and an area search was carried out. However, there was no trace of the suspects and there are currently no further lines of inquiry."

Close-up of one of the damaged panels
Jacqui Peek
Close-up of damaged panel
Jacqui Peek

Leader's funding plea to PM candidates

The leader of West Sussex County Council has written to the Tory leadership candidates and asked how much money they would give to local authorities if they became Prime Minister.

Louise Goldsmith, who last week survived calls for a vote of no confidence in her own leadership, described in her letter the "severe financial restrictions" faced by councils across the country and said, by the end of 2021-22, West Sussex would have streamlined its budget by £338m.

Ms Goldsmith also asked when the long-awaited Green Paper on social care would be published and if the government would be looking for cross-party approval of its contents.

The controversial paper which looks at the future of adult social care in England was due to be published in 2017. The government now has it listed to be published "at the earliest opportunity".

Brexit party MEP's comments on homosexuality condemned

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

The leader of West Sussex County Council has condemned as "outrageous" comments made by Ann Widdecombe which suggested science could "produce an answer" to being gay.

The Brexit Party MEP hit the headlines earlier this month for her comments, which led to several theatres cancelling dates for her Strictly Ann one-woman tour.

The issue was raised at County Hall, in Chichester, on 7 June when councillors asked for condemnation of Ms Widdecombe’s "LGBT negative outburst".

I condemn the absolutely awful comments that were made. They were absolutely outrageous.”

Louise GoldsmithLeader West Sussex County Council

Looking at the inclusivity work carried out by the county, the leader recalled people’s delight when the rainbow flag was first flown at County Hall – a day Mr Oxlade said was "a big highlight".

The council is also working to regain its place in the Stonewall top 100 – a list of the employers which achieve acceptance without exception for all LGBT people, with the next Worthing Pride taking place on 13 July.

Leader survives vote of no confidence

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith has survived a call for a vote of no confidence in her abilities.

The call was made by Lib Dem leader Dr James Walsh after a horrific Ofsted report into the county’s children’s services, which were rated inadequate.

The call was supported by a number of Tory councillors.

Calling Ofsted’s findings "a shocking indictment" Dr Walsh said: “There are many references in the report to leadership failure at all levels."

He said children could be "scarred for life".

There was applause for Tory councillor Andrew Baldwin, who suggested that he and others had been removed from scrutiny committees because they were "not nodding donkeys and not afraid to ask questions".

After listening to the debate for more than an hour, a tearful Mrs Goldsmith said: “I care very deeply about the children so this hits me more than you can imagine.”

The call was defeated by 38 votes to 18, with 5 abstentions.

Today's local news website headlines

Getty Images

The Argus: 'Picasso' Seated Bather up for auction at Brighton and Hove Auction Rooms

Kent Online: Disabled boy stopped from using pool slide

Get Surrey: Shepperton nursery 'devastated' after children's tree pulled out of the ground and burned

Chichester Observer: Motion of no confidence in Tory council leader tabled

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne man given prison sentence for stealing meat

Crawley and Horley Observer: Shocking footage shows Lancing man caught speeding at 151mph on the M23

Worthing Herald: Rustington machete attack victim comes forward: 'I lost a lot of blood. It was horrifying"

Mid Sussex Times: Cyclists gear up for annual Burgess Hill Bike Ride this Sunday

Brighton and Hove News: Brighton and Hove tenant reps criticise lack of publicity over 'improvement survey'

Hastings Observer: Couples can now get married in iconic Hastings cinema

Brighton and Hove Independent: Residents oppose academy plans for Moulsecoomb Primary School

Scrutinising children's services in West Sussex

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors charged with scrutinising children’s services in West Sussex have questioned the level of information provided to them.

The service was rated inadequate by Ofsted last week and the council will now work with a commissioner from the Department for Education in an effort to bring things up to scratch.

Scrutiny came in for criticism from the inspectors, who described the process as not "sufficiently rigorous".

At a meeting councillors said they were determined to see children's services improve and made a number of suggestions.

Councillors were told that seven core themes for improvement had been decided – effective leadership, work force, planning and development, learning and development, design of the service, and partnerships, process and compliance.