Councillor quits after failing to attend meetings

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A PORTCHESTER councillor has resigned from Fareham Borough Council after failing to attend any council meetings in the last six months.

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Brown, pictured, who represents Portchester East, has not attended a meeting since August 5. In that time he has received £3,230 which councillors are paid through their members’ allowances.

Yesterday the council confirmed that Cllr Brown, who had been a ward councillor since May 2010, had handed in a letter of resignation. A by-election will now take place.

Conservative councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘He has failed to attend a council meeting for six months. The people of Portchester East have a right to be represented.

‘They are bound to be angry on the one hand that he’s taken the money and done nothing, and perhaps relieved that they have got the opportunity to elect somebody who hopefully will represent them.’

Councillor Jim Forrest, Lib Dem leader in Fareham, said: ‘Chris’s Liberal Democrat colleagues are disappointed that he feels unable to continue serving on the council to channel his obvious concern for the residents of Portchester East.

‘We appreciate that the demands of running his own business have made it difficult for him to attend meetings, and respect his decision to say so honestly rather than to continue in a post whose public duties he was uncomfortable with.

‘We are grateful for the considerable work Chris has done behind the scenes for residents in Portchester. We pledge that Liberal Democrats will continue to serve those residents in the council chamber and in the ward.’

But ward residents in Portchester East are angry.

One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: ‘You expect more from a councillor. He shouldn’t have claimed that money. He should have to give it back if he didn’t do the job.’

Another added: ‘Other councillors we have had have always made themselves known to us. But since Mr Brown took over, I know nothing of him. It’s disgusting.’

The News attempted to contact Mr Brown but he was unavailable to comment.