A HAMPSHIRE county councillor has revealed that he has stood down due to health issues.

Hugh Lumby, resigned from his position as the councillor for the Upper Meon Valley ward at the end of March after holding the seat for three years.

The 57-year-old told the Chronicle that the decision was made after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

He said: “I have been experiencing voice issues for some time. This has now been diagnosed as a form of motor neurone disease; the primary effect so far is my voice has gone. I now have to use a speak-aloud device to talk.

Hampshire Chronicle: Hugh LumbyHugh Lumby (Image: Contributed)

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“I have received great support from within the county council, both officers and members, for example changing the rules to allow me to speak at council meetings, which I did at the last full council before I stood down.  The response from members to that speech will always stay with me.

“However, the reality is that it was becoming an increasing struggle to perform the role; hence the reluctant decision to step down, to allow someone else to perform the role. The timing was driven by the need to allow the by-election to be run at the same time as the other elections on May 2, rather than causing the time and cost of a standalone election. This made sense, even though my heart said to soldier on. I had hoped to continue as a county councillor for many years, but my condition means that it is not to be.

“It has been a huge privilege to be a Hampshire county councillor and to represent the wonderful Meon Valley and I am grateful for having had the opportunity. The county council itself is a very impressive organisation and I was struck time and again by the quality and professionalism of the officers. I also had the privilege to serve on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority and witness the great work they do.

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“I do look back with pride at my time as first a district and more latterly a county councillor. We made progress on a lot of fronts, including seeing the average speed cameras installed on the A32 and the A272. My thanks to everyone who gave me the opportunity to serve and represent our communities and worked with me over the years.”

Mr Lumby said that other highlights of his time as a councillor included the opening of the new school in Whiteley and the start of a new bus service there, as well as his work on the River Hamble alongside the harbour authority.

He continued: “Going forward, I am looking forward to getting my evenings and weekends back.”