Green Norwich city councillor resigns
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:08 12 March 2013
A by-election has been triggered after a Green Party city councillor announced his resignation.
Graeme Gee, who has represented Mancroft ward since 2010, said a combination of health issues and a need to concentrate on his business had contributed to his decision.
Legal professional Mr Gee, 60, of Unthank Road, said: “It was not an easy decision, but I have had health problems over the last 12 months or so, which has included surgery.
“At the same time I have my own business providing legal training and the current economic climate has meant there has been more demand for that.
“With the combination of the two, I felt I was not giving enough time to my constituents or to the city. If I cannot do a job properly I would rather stop doing it.
“I love the work of being a councillor, but it does take up a lot of time, with preparing properly for committees by reading all the agendas.”
Mr Gee was in a third stint as a city councillor. He represented Labour in Bowthorpe in the late 1980s and Mancroft up until 1996.
But he said he “saw the light” when he left Labour to join the Greens.
Mr Gee said he had delayed his resignation so that the cost to the taxpayer would be reduced through the by-election being held on the same date as the county council elections - Thursday, May 2.
At the last election, in 2010, Mr Gee triumphed in Mancroft with 813 votes. Labour’s Marion Maxwell (now a city councillor for
Crome) came second with 673 votes, with Liberal Democrat candidate Simon Nobbs third with 371 and Suzie Pulford garnering 305 votes for the Conservatives.
Mr Gee becomes the second Green city councillor to quit in the space of less than five months. In October David Rogers stepped down from his seat in Nelson – blaming the party’s “profoundly undemocratic” methods.
Andrew Boswell, also a Green county councillor, retained Nelson for the party at the subsequent by-election in December.
The current political make-up of the city council is Labour, 21, Green Party, 15 and Liberal Democrats 3, which means Labour controls the council with an overall majority.