A councillor has breathed a sigh of relief after she resigned from Crawley Borough Council following 10 years’ service.
Claire Denman, 49, Conservative borough councillor for Pound Hill South and Worth, resigned on Wednesday (April 9).
Claire, a mother-of-two and former antiques dealer, said: “There’s a point in your life when you want to do other things and this is the time.
“I’m sorry because I met some absolutely wonderful residents but I’m really glad to be out of that political arena.”
Her resignation was timed to save the council money and allow the by-election for her seat to be held with local council elections in May.
She said: “I made the decision a few months ago but just had to wait for the timing.”
Claire said she felt party politics “strips the humanity from people” and claimed she was criticised after she missed public meetings while she was acting leader of the council.
The meetings in question coincided with her son undergoing operations for brain cancer in London.
Claire hit out at what she perceived to be a “council comes before family” attitude.
She added: “Climbing up the political slope sometimes strips away the basic humanity from people and the way people treat each other can be really really awful.”
Claire said one of her best moments as a councillor was working in the Worth Conservation Area Advisory Committee.
The five-year Worth Park Restoration Project started in 2013 after the borough council’s project was awarded a grant of £2.42million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund.
She said: “To see that come to fruition is absolutely brilliant.”
Claire and her husband, John, borough councillor for Ifield, who will not stand for re-election in May, moved to Pulborough a few months ago.
Describing her plans to start a Master of Philosophy in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex, Claire said she had no plans to partake in politics.
But she added she would always be a “Crawley girl”.