FORMER Portchester councillor Chris Brown has defended his decision to quit Fareham Borough Council.
As reported on in The News, he resigned from his position as ward councillor for Portchester East on Friday after he had been unable to attend a council meeting for six months.
Mr Brown said he was unable to continue carrying out his duties as a councillor due to work pressures. But he added that he did not keep the £3,230 he was paid in members’ allowances and instead put it towards community projects.
He said that since being elected in May 2010 he worked hard to campaign for the new Portchester Community Centre and has fought against plans for 7,000 homes in the north of Fareham.
‘Since I have been on the council I have done between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of work in the community. That’s an awful lot,’ he said.
‘I got into it to keep Portchester Community Centre where it was.
‘And I was a major opponent to the SDA from day one. I fought to keep the green fields up there.
‘I have campaigned and fought for improved accommodation, better local conditions, and have worked to solve many issues regarding anti-social behaviour, traffic and highways problems.
‘I wanted to make a difference in Portchester. I believe in people and what the people deserve and should get. I have managed to do things in Portchester that no-one else has done.
‘I set up a youth facility for the locals to encourage the kids to come along to help the local children.’
Mr Brown added that he has also donated some of his members’ allowances to local charities, as an anonymous donor.
He said that he was forced to resign from the council because his work commitments were preventing him from attending meetings regularly and that he couldn’t resign before the end of January due to the cost of an early by-election.
‘The business we have been struggling with has taken off,’ he said. ‘I have been working 60 to 70 hours a week to get that going.
‘I couldn’t get through Fareham to get to the meetings on time.
‘Work problems have caused me to be unable to get to the meetings.
But despite resigning from the council, Mr Brown said he is keen to continue working in Portchester.
‘I can still achieve what I want without being attached to the council, he added.
‘Because of work commitments I couldn’t get to the council meetings but I have still done the work outside the council and still invested the money that’s been put back into the community in many ways.
‘I have done what I really wanted to do. I am very pleased and proud of what I have done.’