Independent to quit Fareham council over Welborne plan

Nick Gregory
Nick Gregory

‘Don’t leave it too long to trim your hedges’

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INDEPENDENT councillor Nick Gregory said he will not stand for re-election in May as he is frustrated with how a council has dealt with plans for a new 6,000-home town.

Cllr Gregory, who represents Fareham West on Fareham Borough Council, said he was fed up with constantly arguing against the council’s plan to build new town Welborne, north of Fareham.

He said: ‘It’s not a threat, at the moment I’m not standing.

‘It is partly due to the 6,000 houses and partly due to not being able to represent my ward and putting across useful suggestions which are being whitewashed.

‘Also trying to warn of the chaos that Welborne will bring.’

Cllr Gregory was voted on to the council at a 2010 by-election as a Lib Dem, but he soon switched to the Tories which saw him re-elected in 2012.

He then became an independent in early 2013, before switching to Ukip for a short stint, and then moving back to being independent in October 2013.

Cllr Gregory said he has faced difficulties getting his voice heard on the Tory-led council. He also said he intends to start a new business next year that would not give him the time needed to devote to his councillor duties.

Cllr Gregory said: ‘I have been doing this for six years and if people feel that strongly then they should stand themselves. If you are employed in a job and feel you are not going anywhere do you continue in that job?’

Tory leader Sean Woodward said: ‘He clearly has no idea of what he stands for. The man’s a maverick.’

Cllr Woodward said Welborne was needed to meet Fareham’s housing need and to protect green sites across the area.