A COUNCILLOR who was deselected from his seat is stepping down as chairman of the committee that oversees schools and children’s services in Brighton and Hove.

Queen’s Park Labour councillor Daniel Chapman told the Children, Young People and Skills Committee that he was taking up new opportunities, hence the need to step down.

Councillor Chapman thanked fellow committee members as well officials, including the executive director for families, children and learning Pinaki Ghoshal for their support.

His place as committee chairman will be taken by fellow Labour councillor Les Hamilton, a retired secondary school teacher.

A Brighton native and former Longhill School pupil, Councillor Chapman said: “After thinking carefully over the past few months I have decided to step down as chair of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee. I have spoken with the leader of the council and informed him of my intention to step down and have advised that this will be the last time I chair this committee. It has been an honour to chair this committee over the past two years, working with you all to achieve the best for children. It has been a privilege to represent children and young people across the city – the city where I grew up, went to school and call home.

“Chairing this committee has been a fantastic opportunity for me and one I will always remember fondly.

“Of course, there have been some difficult times, particularly when the topic has been school catchment areas. I’ve never been so recognised in the street

“But I believe this committee has a strong cross-party consensus and the majority of the time we can always find an agreed way forward together. I am proud of some of the changes and the progress that has been made over the past few years whether it is our recent ILACS (inspection of local authority children’s services) inspection result and the move to good from requires improvement that 93 per cent of our schools are rated good or outstanding and that all secondary schools are now rated good and changes to the corporate parenting board so that looked after children are better supported

“I will continue to sit on the committee until May. Councillor Les Hamilton will be stepping in as chairman of the committee and I will be returning to my role as deputy chair for the remainder of the council session.

“So, finally I would just like to say thank you to all of you around this room, as well as Pinaki and the officers who have made chairing this committee an amazing experience.”

Labour Councillor Mo Marsh joined the committee for the meeting, following the resignation of deputy chairwoman Caroline Penn.