A Green councillor has resigned his seat on Brighton and Hove City Council.
Matt Follett, who represents Hanover and Elm Grove, stepped down this morning (Friday 25 May) because he is moving out of the area.
A by-election to replace Councillor Follett will be held on a date yet to be announced.
He said: “I am to moving to live with my family in another part of the country.
“I do not consider it ethical nor logistically possible to live outside the council boundary and adequately serve city residents.”
Councillor Follett, who works as a lecturer in criminology at Brighton University, said: “I am sad to be leaving and wish the council leadership every success in their endeavours for Brighton and Hove.
“The Green Party is fortunate to have such a diligent group leader in Jason Kitcat.
“I’d also like to thank my Hanover councillor colleagues Bill Randall and Liz Wakefield for their team-working approach over the last two years.”
Councillor Follett was first elected to the council two years ago, having previously served as a member of Leicester City Council.
Councillor Kitcat said: “I wish Matt and his family all the very best for the future.
“I want to thank him for his hard work serving the residents of Hanover and Elm Grove ward over the past two years and especially for his huge role in the introduction of citywide 20mph speed limits.”
Rob Shepherd, who chairs the Brighton and Hove Green Party, said: “Matt’s decision to stand down today was made several days ago and his resignation letter was written before any events associated with yesterday’s council leadership confirmation came to light.
“There is no relationship between Matt’s resignation and the recently publicised Twitter conversation between a Green councillor and a Labour councillor.
“The Brighton and Hove Green Party is now selecting its candidate, whose name will be published in the near future.
“I would like to thank Matt for all his work as a councillor on behalf of the party and on behalf of residents in Hanover and Elm Grove and I wish him well for the future.”
An attempt by Green councillors to replace Councillor Kitcat yesterday fizzled out before the annual council meeting at Hove Town Hall.
Councillor Kitcat is the leader – or convenor – of the Green group of councillors and the leader of the council.
He has been criticised by his party colleagues over his stance on changes to pay and allowances for council staff.
The changes will mean a cut in take-home pay for hundreds of staff, including almost all of the binmen and street cleaners at Cityclean.
The Cityclean workers walked out for two days a few weeks ago and are holding a ballot on whether to call an official strike.
She suggested in a private conversation on Twitter that the Labour group nominate Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty. Councillor Morgan declined and published the exchange.
Councillor Mac Cafferty was one of the Green group’s two deputy leaders until yesterday. He has been critical of the proposed changes to staff pay and allowances in line with the position of his local party.
The result of the GMB union’s strike ballot is expected to be known on Friday 7 June.
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