PROMOTING business will be the focus of Worthing’s 96th mayor.
Charles James, Conservative councillor for Durrington, became the town’s new mayor during a ceremony at the Town Hall.
Charles said he wanted to honour the tradition of Worthing’s mayoralty with the “dignity and gravitas” it deserved.
He added: “I am a traditionalist – the mayoralty needs upholding in towns like Worthing and we should be very proud that it is part of our heritage.”
Charles, 62, of Downview Road, has been a member of the council for three years, sitting on the licensing committee, overview and scrutiny committee and joint overview and scrutiny committee.
He said: “My focus for the year ahead will be to support and promote business in Worthing, however big or small.
“I hope to work with the Chamber of Commerce to encourage people to base their businesses in Worthing, and, hopefully, be able to offer more employment – particularly to young people, who are our future.”
Charles’ aim as mayor is reflected in his choice of charity – the Worthing and Adur Fund.
The charitable fund, which supports local charities and community groups, is in partnership with Sussex Community Foundation and Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce.
Charles said: “Rather than selecting a few different charities, this is a trust which will benefit lots of different smaller projects, which don’t have the profile of larger charities in the area.”
Charles, who worked for the London Fire Brigade for 30 years, moved to live in Worthing with his wife Pauline seven years ago.
This year, Bob Smytherman is deputy mayor – the first Lib Dem mayor-in-waiting for five years, while youth mayor is St Andrew’s School pupil Cam Hughes, and Brogan Kirkby-Bott, a Worthing College student, is the new deputy youth mayor.