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UPDATED: Green Brighton and Hove councillor talks about her fight against TB
A councillor has spoken for the first time about battling a life-threatening illness.
However the former deputy council leader has stopped attending town hall meetings since she was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in January.
With some opposition councillors suggesting she stand down, the former planning and regeneration cabinet member has broken her silence on fighting the potentially deadly disease.
Coun Kennedy said: “The course of treatment, which began in February, is six months long and I am now about two-thirds of the way through.
“I am in touch with residents and ward colleagues, who have ensured that my ward duties are properly covered, but have been advised by my consultant not to sit on any committees until I've completed my treatment.
“I am better than I was but I still have TB.”
If left untreated, the disease kills more than 50% of those infected.
Coun Kennedy has briefly attended one full council meeting since being diagnosed during that time to avoid an automatic by-election being triggered.
Plans for her to continue as the council Green group deputy leader were changed in May when Phelim MacCafferty took on the role.
But Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett said: “I do not think it’s right.
“You either are a councillor representing residents or you’re not. I think the time has come where she has to go.”
Coun Barnett likened the situation to her former Conservative councillor colleague Paul Lainchbury, who was forced to step down from representing Goldsmid ward in 2009.
Opposition councillors then accused him of “absenteeism” adding he only attended full council meetings to avoid the then ruling Tory administration from losing its casting vote.
Coun Barnett said: “It’s double standards. Paul was ill and the Greens absolutely hounded him.
“The reason she does not stand down is because they know they will lose the seat.”
Preston Park is represented by three Green councillors after the party took two seats from Labour in the May 2011 local elections.
Fellow ward councillor Leo Littman said: “Amy has shown enormous dedication to her work as a councillor and her ward residents.
"Everywhere we go residents ask us to pass on their get-well wishes and even cards and presents. Several Conservative councillors have also sent cards.”
He added: “This is nothing more than a politically-motivated attack on a woman who is working hard to overcome a serious medical condition.”
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