Popular Dane Valley ward councillor Gary Taylor has stepped down from his role.
The dad-of-three sent formal notice of his departure yesterday (January 25).
Gary,56, was first elected for the Dane Valley ward in 2015 as part of the campaign by UKIP. In 2018 he and 11 other UKIP members quit the party to form the Thanet Independent Group in a row about the use of the Manston airport site.
That move eventually forced the resignation of Thanet UKIP and council leader Chris Wells.
Gary, who has been a serving postman for 25 years and was a member of the Territorial Army for 11 years, was re-elected in the 2019 local elections – taking the most votes in the ward.
The former Hartsdown student worked hard for his residents and spent much time trying to find solutions to the use of Dane Valley Green by Traveller encampments and campaigning for CCTV and other measures in Dane Park.
During his time at TDC he was vice chairman of the council and chairman of the Joint Transportation Board, as well as a member of other committees.
During his postal round last September Gary also stepped in to give first aid to a driver injured after two cars were involved in a crash.
He has been involved in a number of community events, from helping to judge the 2019 Thanet’s Got Talent and, with fellow ward councillors, presenting mini mobile libraries to Drapers Mills School and Millmead Sure Start Centre, to being one of the ward representatives instrumental in creating the Dane Valley outstanding citizen awards.
Gary says he has taken the decision to step down after becoming ‘burnt out’ due to his very busy full-time job and then the additional council work – especially with the extra pressures covid placed on both roles.
He said: “I had been thinking about it in the run up to Christmas. I would be worn out from work and then go home and there would be council meetings and I felt, what with the covid situation, that it couldn’t go on.
“Thank you for all Dane Valley residents who either voted or supported me in the ward and a big thank you to all at TDC that helped me get things done in the ward.
“I’m sure that there will be a well fought campaign in Dane Valley in the next election and I wish food luck to all the candidates.
“My advice would be that if you have a full time job then you really need to weigh up if being a councillor is for you.”
Gary is now looking forward to spending more time with wife Kellie and his family.
The vacant Dane Valley seat will now be subject to a by-election which is likely to take place on May 6 at the same time as the county council election.