A UKIP county councillor has resigned from his post.
Ray Finch represented Bedhampton and Leigh Park on the authority.
Today, in a statement, he said: ‘This morning I have written to the chairman and chief executives of Hampshire County Council tendering my resignation from my role as the councillor for the Bedhampton and Leigh Park division.
‘I ‘m of course sad that I have to do this, so close to the new elections coming in May.
‘However due to missing the two full council meetings that took place in the last 6 months, both due to carrying out my duties as an MEP for the south east (one a visit to Auschwitz and the other a voting session in the European Parliament) I am unable to continue my joint mandate.
‘Happily, the chief executive has confirmed that as my resignation comes so close to the full elections there will be no need to cost the taxpayer the expense of a by-election.
‘However as that is the case I will continue working as I have done for local residents until the election itself, dealing with constituency issues and working on their behalf as normal - just not taking allowances nor attending council meetings.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Bedhampton and Leigh Park for their goodwill and trust over the past years, and also my colleagues in the Ukip group on the councillor and the staff and officers of the council for all their assistance over my term of office.’