14th May, 2021

Councillor decides to stand aside at election

Rob George 9th Apr, 2021

A CAMPAIGNING councillor who secured the return of a withdrawn bus service to Claines has revealed he will stand down at May’s county council elections.

Coun Andy Stafford was elected to represent Claines in May 2017 and will be stepping down after one term. He will continue to serve the village on Worcester City Council after he was successfully re-elected for a second four-year term in May 2019.

He said his proudest achievement was being able to secure the return of the Saturday 37 bus service after it was withdrawn, then offering a free Saturday bus service during February 2019 to promote bus usage and help secure it for the longer term.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as a County Councillor representing the residents of Claines and feel that I can look back on many successes,” he said.

“I inherited a big issue with poor pavements so I’m proud of the number of pavements I’ve had resurfaced including Bevere Close, Grange Avenue and Leabank Drive to name just a few.

“Extending the 30mph speed limit on Ombersley Road further out of the city to the farm shop took a lot of hard work but has helped reduce the speed of traffic coming into the city. We also have two new Vehicle Activated Signs located at local speeding hot spots.

“It was a very difficult decision to not stand again as I hate to think I am letting people down. To get the best for your residents you need to dedicate a lot of time to the role, time I unfortunately no longer have due to both increasing work demands and family commitments.”

Coun Stafford paid tribute to all those who supported him and offered his best wishes to his successor.

Seasoned campaigner Coun Chris Mitchell has been named as the Conservative Party’s candidate for the poll on May 6.

Coun Mitchell has served residents in St Clement on Worcester City Council for the past decade and is the deputy Conservative group leader on the council as well as the chairman of the Planning Committee.

A former Army Officer he is known for being forthright and as well as his 20 years military experience he is a Chartered Engineer and runs his own consultancy in Worcester.

“I am keen to ensure Claines retains its enviable reputation as a wonderful place to live, to do I shall strive to ensure any future development is sympathetic with the existing nature of the division and will protect the beauty and green space in Claines,” he said.

In response, Coun Stafford said: “I’m delighted Chris Mitchell is our candidate. Chris would be an excellent County Councillor for Claines, he has a wealth of experience and knows how to get things done, he has supported me on previous election campaigns and is very familiar with the area and local issues.”

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