New council leader aims to overcome divisions

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Chapel St Leonards Parish Council has elected a new leader.

Coun Mel Turton-Leivers was voted into office at a special meeting earlier this month, as the council’s third chairman since May.

Original chairman David Smart stood down due to medical reasons.

His successor Hazel Newcombe resigned after just six days citing ‘deep issues’ within the council.

In a statement to the press, Coun Turton-Leivers said: “There is a deep schism within the council that is inevitably diverting our energies and affecting the quality of service that we endeavour to provide to the community.

“I will do everything in my power to try to heal those divisions and get the council back on track.”