A long-serving district councillor is to stand down at the upcoming elections after 27 years of service.
Cllr Chris Over, who represents the Abbey South ward on Daventry District Council (DDC), has made the decision to stand down for personal reasons.
He said: “It was during Christmas time that I was having a conversation with the family and it is a time for reflection.
“I said to them there was a number of things that I wanted to do and that I wouldn’t have had the time to do them.
“Therefore I decided it was the right time to stand down and do other things.
“I will be leaving at the elections in May and that will give people the chance to make preparations to take on the role.
“It does not mean that I will be going away. I will still be taking a keen interest in what is going on.”
Cllr Over, who is also the council’s economic, employment and regeneration portfolio holder, added: “I am very proud of the town and it has been a privilege to represent the town and the area of Abbey South.
“Our town is a growth area and I have been very pleased to play a part in the town.”
He also hopes that his departure will enable new blood to step on to the district council.
He said: “I do feel that the people that come on to the council as councillors is a little incestuous. You will find that people will often ask their family members or friends to come onto the council.
“I would hope that my departure will encourage a broader range of people and for people to think they could come on to the council.”
While he will not be standing down until May, Cllr Over is already looking to the future. He said: “I won’t be just potting around in the garden and pruning flowers.
“I am very involved in a lot of charity work and will look to expand that.
“I am also going to do more work with the Citizens Advice Bureau as well.”
There were tributes paid to Cllr Over for his efforts on the district council.
DDC leader Cllr Chris Millar said: “I was very disappointed but understand that he has personal reasons.
“He has been a councillor for 27 years and has been in the portfolio for the economy for well over a decade. He has been passionate about the future of the town centre and representing the people in Abbey South.
“He is a man of honour and dignity and will be sorely missed.”
Cllr Wendy Randall, leader of the Labour party on DDC, said: “He was a well respected and he had a lot of knowledge in his portfolio role.
“He will be sorely missed and all of us wish him the best for the future.”