Two Green councillors have announced that they are to stand down from Brighton and Hove City Council.
Tom Druitt and Alex Phillips have said that they will continue to serve Regency ward until the local elections in May next year.
The couple, who have two young children, have faced questions about expenses and the time that they have spent in France since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Phillips, 36, was first elected at a by-election in 2009. She served as the mayor of Brighton and Hove in 2019-20 – the youngest person to have held the ceremonial office.
She was also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from July 2019 to January 2020 when Britain’s exit from the European Union – known as Brexit – took effect.
She currently works in the House of Lords for the crossbench peer Lord Bird, who as John Bird founded the Big Issue magazine to help homeless people.
Councillor Druitt, 43, founded and runs the Big Lemon bus company, formerly chaired the Brighton and Hove Green Party and was elected to the council in 2015.
Councillor Phillips said: “After much consideration and after what will be 14 years of service, I have decided not to restand as a councillor to focus on my work with Lord Bird on the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help enact legislation to ensure the consideration of the needs of future generations in all parliamentary decision-making.
“As a councillor I have been honoured to serve residents in two wards, Goldsmid and Regency, and am most proud of working with colleagues to successfully turn the old Hove police station into a much-needed primary school, working with residents to close a pub which had become an anti-social behaviour hotspot (and turn it into much-needed housing) and becoming the youngest ever mayor of our wonderful city.
“I’d like to thank residents for putting your trust in me over these years and I wish our new Green candidates for Regency ward and my colleagues the very best for the future.”
Councillor Tom Druitt, councillor for Regency ward, said: “It’s been a huge privilege to serve the residents of Regency ward as their councillor in the city I love.
“It’s been a rewarding experience, especially helping residents navigate the system and getting action on the issues most important to them.
“Some of the highlights have been supporting residents dealing with anti-social behaviour issues in local green spaces, working with residents to stop Temple Street being used as a dangerous rat run, working with colleagues to get a winter night shelter set up for rough sleepers and supporting local businesses with a range of issues to help them stay in business – before, during and after the covid-19 lockdowns.
“I will miss working with residents to improve the local area but I’m pleased that our new Green candidates for Regency ward, Kahina Bouhassane and Tom Pashby, have put themselves forward.
“They are fantastic candidates with strong Green values and lots of energy. I wish them the very best of luck with the election – residents will certainly be in good hands.”
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