MP welcomes new community minibus chairman
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the new Chairman of the West Sussex Community Minibus Association.
Alastair Shepherd, a retired army officer from Horsham, was elected chairman at the Association's 38th AGM at Fittleworth Village Hall on Friday 20 July.
Mr Herbert and Colonel Sir Brian Bartelott were re-elected to their positions as Vice President and President of the Association. They paid tribute to Andrew Vivian, who stepped down as Chairman after dedicating 9 years to the post. He was a volunteer driver before he joined the committee.
The Community Minibus Association (West Sussex) has 7 divisions serving 45 villages. The newest division, Ashington, joins the Five Villages, Petworth, Pulborough, Steyning and Storrington. With a fleet of 13 vehicles they provide transport in and around the rural villages of West Sussex.
The Association has over 800 members, and dozens of volunteers who drive and maintain the buses, as well as many more who support the co-ordination of the services.
Andrew Vivian said: "The remarkable success of the Community Minibus since the first ad hoc committee meeting in 1975 is due entirely to the commitment and enthusiasm of an army of volunteers in a wide range of roles, together with the support given by so many organisations , local authorities , sponsors and of course members.
"The ‘minibus' has been and will continue to be a lifeline for many, being so often the only means of transport for our rural communities as well as being such a great source of friendship."
Nick Herbert said: "I am honoured to have been re-elected Vice-President of the Community Minibus Association which does such wonderful work in transporting people around the County.
"I am full of admiration for the many volunteers who support the Association and provide what is really an essential public service, and I would particularly like to pay tribute to Andrew Vivian who has done so much for the charity in his years as chairman.
"I am delighted that Alastair Shepherd has agreed to take on the important role of Chairman, and wish him every success in taking the Community Minibus Association forward."
1. For more information about the Community Minibus Association and its divisions please see http://westsussexminibus.org.uk/.