Lancing Parish Council reelects former councillor and chairman

A former Lancing parish councillor has returned to political life and promised to drive the village towards regeneration.

James Butcher was reelected into a Widewater Ward seat vacated by former councillor and chairman Gloria Eveleigh after a by-election on Thursday.

James Butcher (centre) with supporters and fellow councillors SUS-191029-153400001

James Butcher (centre) with supporters and fellow councillors SUS-191029-153400001

Mr Butcher had served as the parish council’s youngest ever chairman from 2014 to 2016 before resigning as a councillor in 2018.

“I want to thank the people of Lancing for giving me such an incredible mandate to help make our area the go-to coastal village in Sussex,” he said.

“Working with other councillors, I’d like to drive forward Lancing’s regeneration, improving the street scene and the natural environment.

“We need to make more of Widewater nature reserve, see more tree planting across Lancing and ensure that the cycle lane on the seafront works for everyone.

“I’d also like to thank my predecessor Gloria Eveleigh for her service to Lancing.”

Among his achievements during his previous stint as a councillor, Mr Butcher can point to the delivery of improvements to Lancing Beach Green, including the addition of a skate park.

He also helped to complete regeneration projects including the village clock and renovation of Headborough Gardens in South Street.

Mr Butcher is a Lancing local who attended the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, then known as Boundstone School, before working at Lancing Library for five years.

He currently works in public health communications for organisations including charities and medical societies.

The Conservative councillor secured 61 per cent of the votes in Thursday’s by-election, with 583 people siding in his favour.

Labour’s Jane Dutton took second place, with 215 votes, and Liberal Democrat Stephen Male rounded off the podium with 154.

Voter turnout stood at 20 per cent.

Lydia Pope was elected as the new chairman of the parish council in May.

Shortly after, Lancing’s became the first parish council in West Sussex to declare a climate emergency.

The declaration included a pledge to become carbon neutral in all its activities by 2030.