The leader of Mid Sussex District Council has announced that he will be standing down.
Garry Wall (Con, Haywards Heath – Franklands) made the decision having served ten years at the helm.
At a meeting of the full council this evening (March 27) he said: “There is always a time to move on in life and to step aside and let others pick up the pieces – the reins.
“The secret is recognising when that moment is.”
There followed a stream of heartfelt tributes from councillors, with one almost in tears as he spoke.
Neville Walker (Con, Crawley Down & Turners Hill) had worked with Cllr Wall’s father.
He said: “A team is as good as its leader, and you have been exceptional.”
His voice breaking, Mr Walker added: “The debt that not only this council but the whole of Mid Sussex owes to you is incalculable.
“I would like to say good job, very, very well done.”
Mr Wall threw his support behind his deputy Jonathan Ash-Edwards (Con, Haywards Heath – Heath) to take over as leader.
Describing Mr Ash-Edwards as ‘an experienced, knowledgable and astute politician’, he added: “He has been involved and central to every major decision this administration has taken in recent years.
“I state that he is the obvious candidate to take the next step on his political career.
“Should he put his name forward following the elections – and I fully expect him to do so – I can think of no better candidate for your support as the next leader of Mid Sussex.”