One of the Liberal Democrat councillors representing Netley Abbey has resigned with immediate effect little more than a month before the local elections.
Lizette Van Nieker – who was also Vice-Chair of the Eastleigh Borough Council’s Audit and Resources Committee – was first elected as a Councillor for Netley Abbey in May 2015. Her decision to resign appears to have been sudden as on March 3 the councillor had tweeted a picture of herself delivering copies of Lib Dem focus in the snow.
In an email Council Leader Keith House confirmed to Eastleigh News that Cllr Van Niekerk had resigned for personal reasons adding:
Lizette has made a great contribution to the Borough Council and will be missed. Everyone has to put their personal lives first and we respect Lizette’s decision to stand down now, in advance of scheduled elections in May.
Van Niekerk declined to comment except to say that she would remain a member of the Liberal Democrat party.
Cllr House said there would not be a by-election in the ward and that the seat will be contested in the May local elections.
This latest resignation has brought the total number of Liberal Democrat councillors to leave the Lib Dem group in the last eight months to six – five councillors have already left to sit as Independents in order to oppose the council’s decision to favour development in Bishopstoke and Fair Oak as part of the proposed Local Plan.
The current make-up of the council is:
Liberal Democrat – 32
Conservative – 6
Independent Group – 5
Vacant Seat – 1