A LEADING New Forest district councillor has resigned his cabinet post after being declared bankrupt.

Former Ringwood mayor Cllr Michael Thierry said if he has the backing of the residents of Ringwood he will remain a ward councillor.

Until Wednesday evening, Ringwood North ward Conservative Cllr Thierry held the council's important environment portfolio.

That put him at the head of refuse collection, street cleaning, grounds maintenance, public toilets, cemeteries, recycling, abandoned vehicles, drainage and sewage, coastal protection and environmental sustainability.

He met with district council leader, Milford ward's Cllr Melville Kendal, on Wednesday evening to discuss his position.

That meeting ended with Cllr Thierry resigning the cabinet position he has held for the past four years.

He was made a bankrupt in the High Court of Justice on October 5. Automatic discharge will be 12 months from that date.

There was no Bankruptcy Restriction Order against Cllr Thierry, so he is allowed to continue to serve as councillor.

Bankruptcy Restriction Orders are made by the court when the Official Receiver considers the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some way.

Cllr Thierry said he would continue to publish his freesheet, Ringwood and Fordingbridge News.

A former Ringwood mayor, he resigned from the town council earlier this year.

He told the Echo he did not want to go into the reasons for his bankruptcy.

He said: "I have stood down from New Forest District Council as portfolio holder for environment.

"Currently I remain a councillor for Ringwood North.

"Clearly I will review that position in response to the wishes and views of the residents of Ringwood."

Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the council, Cllr Maureen Robinson, said: "That's probably the best thing for him to do.

"Everybody would surely sympathise with the situation he finds himself in financially.

"I think he's done the right thing by standing down from the cabinet."

Conservative leader Cllr Kendal said: "He has been a very good member of the council and of the cabinet and has helped the district tremendously.

"We are very grateful for all the service he has given.

"I will be announcing a replacement for him on the cabinet, probably after the weekend."

Cabinet member Cllr Goff Beck (Becton ward) said: "I think he has been a very pro-active member of the cabinet. Whoever replaces him will have a big pair of boots to fill."