A FORMER district councillor who resigned last week to focus on his television career tells the Herald of his ‘great sadness’ and reflects on his proudest moments.
Mike Mendoza has been a long-serving Adur councillor for various wards and spent the last five years representing St Mary’s in Shoreham.
“It was an extremely hard decision for me to make, I must say there was a night of tears before I did it,” said the 67-year-old.
“I took a job on at Latest TV and the commitments have just gotten stronger and stronger, plus a conflict of interest with getting involved in news and journalism in general, the two are not compatible.”
Mr Mendoza has acted as vice-chairman of the Adur planning committee, chairman of the authority and a member of the licence committee.
“I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do as much good as I can, not just for myself but for my community and I think I achieved a lot.
“I will miss sitting on the two committees,” he said.
Housing problems had been one of his biggest local issues said Mr Mendoza.
“People living in council home properties, some in appalling conditions that should never have happened and I’m pleased to say I certainly helped some people get their problems solved,” he said.
Referring to the current state of the council in his departure, Mr Mendoza said that it had become a harder role for younger people to step into.
“Financially, it’s very difficult for young people to take up the challenge.
“Adur Council has the worst paid councillors in the country. As an ordinary member, you have about £300 a month and if you’re in Brighton you get £200 a week just to be elected.”
Previously a presenter for talkSPORT radio, Mr Mendoza has also worked for the BBC and is now venturing into the world of television as a presenter for Latest TV.
“I’ve always been a journalist and this opportunity came up. It’s a brand new station and it’s serving the community. In fact, I feel I can do more now in a media role than as a councillor,” he said.
Mr Mendoza presents a number of shows, including the Worthing and Adur Show. Available on Freeview channel eight.
A by-election for the St Mary’s ward will take place on December 5.