Worthing elected is first Muslim councillor as the Tories gained a seat from the ruling Liberal Democrats to form a hung council.

Conservative Jack Saheid, who runs a post office and rest home in East Worthing, won the long-term Lib Dem Selden seat, which proved crucial in levelling the balance of power.

IBoth parties now have 18 councillors with the new mayor, Lib Dem James Doyle, having the casting vote when he takes over later this month.

Father-of-four Mr Saheid, who emigrated to the UK from Guyana in 1961, said: "I feel great. I am very interested in the welfare of East Worthing, which has been neglected, and I intend to rectify that."

The Lib Dems pinned their hopes on securing the Gaisford seat but after three recounts it went to Conservative George Stephens by just six votes.

Lib Dem Claire Potter became one of Worthing's youngest councillors when she was elected to Castle ward aged 24.

The former pupil at Sion Convent, Worthing, who edits two Shoreham-based trade magazines, said: "Worthing does need young councillors."

Coun Sheila Player, leader of the Lib Dems, tried to put a brave face on a disappointing evening.

She said: "It has been a very unusual campaign against a background of some national issues based on the war.

"It will be an interesting year to come with the council hung and the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives having no choice but to work together."

Coun Steven Waight, leader of the Conservatives, said: "I found people were interested in local issues. They were asking us why it was that Worthing always seemed to be going downhill and why other towns seem to have better facilities than we have."

Turnout was 28.61 per cent.

RESULTS (* denotes sitting councillor)

BROADWATER: Elected - Geraldine Lissenburg* (LD) 1,069. Not elected - Heather Mercer (C) 427, Derek Colkett (G) 125.

CASTLE: Elected - Claire Potter (LD) 923. Not elected - John Rogers (C) 771.

CENTRAL: Elected - Geoffrey Hart (LD) 667. Not elected - Martin Coppard (C) 472, Brian Gill (L) 158, Alice-Amanda Hinton (G) 111.

DURRINGTON: Elected - Nick Rodgers (LD) 1,168. Not elected - Alan Whiteley (C) 787, John Dwyer (G) 121.

GAISFORD: Elected - George Stephens* (C) 752. Not elected - Antony Price (LD) 746, Marie Hillcoat (G) 149.

GORING: Elected - Peter Welch (C) 1,732. Not elected - Brian Stephenson (LD) 628.

HEENE: Elected - Tim Dice* (C) 996, Paul High (C) 949. Not elected - Alan Jones (LD) 513, Kevin Skepper (LD) 418, Heather Rogers (G) 191.

MARINE: Elected - Tom Wye (C) 1,282. Not elected - Peter Medcalf (LD) 373, Peter Barnes (L) 222, Lucielle Colkett (G) 140.

OFFINGTON: Elected - Mark McCarthy* (C) 1,490. Not elected - David Moynan (LD) 489, Rosemary Hook (G) 160.

SALVINGTON: Elected - Jacqueline Marsh (C) 1,100. Not elected - Mark O'Keeffe (LD) 723.

SELDEN: Elected - Jack Saheid (C) 1,053. Not elected: Christine Brown* (LD) 872, Dave Yates (G) 130.

TARRING: Elected John Lovell* (LD) 1,135. Not elected - Gavin Clark (C) 486, Ian Sandell (L) 123, Benjamin Colkett (G) 83.