Top council officer tenders resignation

Adur and Worthing councils director for communities John Mitchell, who announced his resignation this week after ten years of service SUS-160404-170349001 SUS-160404-170349001

Adur and Worthing councils director for communities John Mitchell, who announced his resignation this week after ten years of service SUS-160404-170349001 SUS-160404-170349001

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A senior council officer has resigned this week – the second to step down from Adur and Worthing councils’ top table in less than a year.

Director for communities John Mitchell will leave in May, after ten years of service.

His resignation follows director for the economy Scott Marshall’s departure last July.

In an interview with the Herald on Monday, before Mr Mitchell officially announced his decision at a council meeting on Tuesday, he said: “I had a bit of a break at Christmas and it gave me a little bit of thinking time. It feels like the right time to go.

“The danger is you will always find a reason not to move. There is always another project but ten years feels like a long time to do that.”

Mr Mitchell joined Worthing Borough Council as an assistant director shortly before work on the partnership with Adur began – a pioneering move which he ranked among his highlights.

Bringing the work of council closer together with community groups, such as Friends of Fishergate Rec and Creative Waves, in Worthing, has been at the forefront of his recent work.

“Our culture has moved enormously,” he said.

“We are so much more engaging and we trust community groups to go out there and do it.

“What is really refreshing is we have seen some great projects that have brought dividends.”

Despite numerous highlights, Mr Mitchell has had to make many tough decisions.

He was at the forefront of the voluntary services contract procurement, which saw the established providers Voluntary Action Worthing and Adur Voluntary Action lose out to a Brighton-based organisation.

He said he was ‘totally satisfied’ with both the outcome and the decision to put the contract out to tender, despite the sensitivities.

His biggest relief was seeing the gap in Shoreham Beach’s boardwalk plugged after a lengthy legal dispute.

Mr Mitchell will now take a break to consider his options.