Residents in Eastleigh Central ward will go to the polls on February 10 following the unexpected resignation of Councillor Jepthe Doguie.
The Liberal Democrat was one of three councillors who represent Eastleigh Central ward and was first elected in 2018 as Eastleigh’s youngest borough councillor. He was subsequently re-elected with an increased majority in 2019 and his term of office was due to expire in May 2023.
Last year, in a free vote, Doguie along with his fellow Central ward councillors Wayne Irish and Tina Campbell voted to block the controversial planning application to extend the runway at Southampton Airport. After the planning application was finally approved at a further second meeting, Cllr Campbell resigned the Liberal Democrat whip and now sits in Eastleigh Central as an Independent which leaves the current political make up of Eastleigh Central as one Lib Dem (Cllr Wayne Irish), one Independent (Cllr Tina Campbell) and one vacant seat to be decided on February 10.
Mr Doguie declined an invitation to comment on his reasons for giving up his seat but Council Leader Cllr Keith House told Eastleigh News that the Councillor had resigned because he has moved away from the area adding:
It’s often the case with younger graduates that we only have the benefit of their time for a period as their careers develop.
We all wish him well and thank him for his time on the Council.
Cllr Tina Campbell said of her former collegue:
You would be hard pushed to meet a nicer young man.
I’ve worked with him in surgeries for older residents and he has always been respectful towards them and acted with complete integrity. Politics can be difficult at times but he has always conducted himself in a very appropriate manner.
As an independent or as a Lib Dem I was always proud to be alongside him.
Prospective candidates must supply their nomination papers to Eastleigh Borough Council by 4pm on 14 January 2022.
A full list of candidates will then appear on the council website.
Eastleigh Central residents who are eligible to vote in the election but are not registered can do so by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Voters must be registered by Midnight 25 January 2022.