BY JAMES TWOMEY
Two town hall officials have resigned, telling residents they could not do the job properly alongside their other commitments.
Lewisham Labour councillors, MP Janet Daby and Alex Feis-Bryce have both announced they will be stepping down from their council positions.
Ms Daby became the Labour MP for Lewisham East in a by-election last year, and Mr Feis-Bryce has recently become chief executive of Rightsinfo, a national human rights charity.
Ms Daby was first elected to represent Whitefoot Ward in 2010 and served as Lewisham council’s cabinet member for community safety for six years.
Ms Daby said: “It has been such an honour and privilege to serve Whitefoot ward – also known as North Downham – as a local councillor for the past nine years.
“I have come to know so many passionate residents and dedicated community leaders who genuinely care about others. I value them and appreciate all that they do. Whilst it is now time for me to give up my local council role, I will continue to represent them and all Whitefoot ward residents to the best of my ability as their Labour MP in the Houses of Parliament.”
Alex Feis-Bryce was elected as a Labour councillor representing Evelyn Ward in the 2018 local elections.
Since then, in addition to his work helping residents in the ward, Mr Feis-Bryce has served on the council’s licensing committee and safer and stronger communities as well as being part of Lewisham council’s local democracy review.
Mr Feis-Bryce said: “I am grateful to have been given the chance to represent the people of Evelyn Ward for the past year.
“Being a councillor is a rewarding but also a challenging experience. My new employment means that I cannot devote the time and energy that is needed to be a good councillor. I hope that I have made a difference by helping those who need a voice to get access to the services they deserve”
Damien Egan, Labour Mayor of Lewisham, said: “I want to thank both Janet and Alex for their service as local councillors working for Lewisham residents.
“Janet is an outstanding community leader and is already making a strong mark in Parliament, not least in fighting so hard against the damaging prospect of Brexit.
“I am sorry that we are losing Alex so soon, but he can be proud of the work he has done, both for the people of Evelyn Ward and at the council.
“I will miss both Janet and Alex as Lewisham Labour colleagues at the council and wish them both well for the future. The elections for new councillors in their place will be a chance for Lewisham residents to send a strong message to the Tories that their harsh policy of austerity is destroying our local public services, and to support Lewisham Labour’s plans to tackle the Tory housing crisis with the biggest social housing programme in a generation.”
The two councillors stepping down will trigger a by-election as long as a minimum of two residents request it for each ward.
Once Lewisham council announces that elections are to take place there will be a by-election within six weeks.