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Published: 10:28, 04 January 2019
| Updated: 15:36, 04 January 2019
Long-standing councillor Andrew Mackness has confirmed he is to step down from his position with Medway Council.
The River ward councillor and portfolio holder for children's services announced on Facebook that he will not be seeking re election in the May 2019 local elections.
Explaining the decision Cllr Mackness said: "I have been reflecting on this position for a considerable time with Nancy (his wife), family, friends, business colleagues and also key members of River Ward.
"I have decided this is my decision, albeit a very difficult one to reach and with some sadness.
"I have decided that I cannot commit to a new four year term as we are unlikely to reside full time in Medway over the next four years."
Cllr Mackness said he wanted to focus on his own business’ development, plus "non executive roles and also specific campaigns and projects that personally interest me and which are currently restricted due to my role as a councillor and cabinet member."
And he added: "In the most part I have thoroughly enjoyed my eight years as a councillor and cabinet member, which has been an honour, serving the ward and borough to the best of my ability, and particularly working with the current leader.
"I hope you will agree that I have worked hard and done my best to represent our community and hopefully have achieved much in my various roles over this time.
"The future has new and different exciting challenges for me now and I am excited to be able to focus upon these."
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett said Cllr Mackness' departure would be a "great loss" to the council and cabinet, adding: "You have achieved a great deal, and probably more than others in your position might have managed. Thanks for all you have done - however still a few months of graft left!"