THE Conservatives have announced their candidate for an upcoming council by-election, after one of the city’s youngest councillors announced their resignation.

Cllr Joe Miller, who represented Rottingdean Coastal on Brighton and Hove City Council and was the Conservatives' finance spokesman, said he was stepping down with immediate effect as he is getting married and moving outside of the city.

Rottingdean resident Lynda Hyde, who previously served on the council from 1999 to 2019, has been selected as the candidate for the by-election, expected to take place on May 5.

Ms Hyde said her priorities would be giving local residents a strong voice on planning issues in the ward, including tackling litter by securing more bins for the Undercliff Walk and at Beacon Hill.

'I have never been shy in speaking up for residents'

She said: “If elected I intend to be a strong, experienced voice that can deliver results for residents across the ward and available and open to meet residents and keep them informed.

“Having been a resident of Rottingdean for 35 years and a past councillor for 20, I know first-hand the challenges our area faces from the council and how to resolve these challenges at the council’s powerful committees.

“Residents, in particular, are frustrated with recent planning decisions of the council.

“With many years past experience on the planning committee and track record of success standing up for residents on planning, this is something I will look to address.

“The ward has also become overrun with litter in many places and I will make it a priority to push for more bins on the Undercliff Walk and securing bigger dog waste bins for Beacon Hill.

“I have never been shy in speaking up for residents, which under the current council is needed now more than ever.”

Chairman of the Brighton Kemptown Conservative Association Dr James Noble said Ms Hyde was the ideal candidate to fill the vacancy and would hit the ground running on day one.

Dr Noble said: “Lynda has a great track record of success from her time as a councillor and would be a strong addition to the Conservative Team, as it seeks to provide opposition and scrutiny for the city to the policies of the Green-Labour coalition.”

The Argus: Joe Miller was first elected as a councillor for Rottingdean Coastal in 2015Joe Miller was first elected as a councillor for Rottingdean Coastal in 2015

Announcing his resignation, Cllr Miller said that it was with “great regret” that he was stepping down as a councillor for “personal reasons”.

He said: “I’m getting married, moving away from the city and it has become increasingly clear that I no longer have the time required to perform the public duty involved in being a councillor as my consultancy work increases.”

He said that being a councillor is “a role for which you can receive regular abuse from the public and other politicians and even the occasional death threat or slashed tyre.”

However, he also said: “Despite all of those challenges, it has been an honour and a privilege over the past seven years to represent the people of Rottingdean Coastal and Brighton and Hove, the place where I grew up and a place that I love.”

A Labour Party spokesman said that a process to select a candidate "who will be a real presence in the community and visible in the ward".

He said: "Labour is looking forward to contesting this by-election and hope to provide Rottingdean Coastal with a representative that is focussed on positive improvements in the ward, rather than career advancement."

The by-election, due to take place on May 5, will coincide with local elections in Worthing, Hastings and Crawley.