TWO Malvern Conservative councillors have announced they will not be standing in the local elections next month.

Councillor Melanie Baker plans to step down to concentrate on her business and charity work.

Mrs Baker, who has represented the Chase Ward since winning a by-election in 2013, has been a key member of the district council’s executive team, leading on a variety of projects in her role as deputy leader and the portfolio holder for development and infrastructure.

A major part of her portfolio included the delivery of the South Worcestershire Development Plan - the blueprint for economic development and housing in the south of the county.

Cllr Baker said: “I’ve loved representing people in the Chase ward over the past six years. It has been wonderful to meet and help so many people who form the heart of our communities, many of whom I have got to know personally.

“Development is pivotal to local economic development, jobs and quality of life for our residents so it is very rewarding to see businesses and people thrive and know you have made a difference.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for sending me their best wishes for the future. I’m still going to be heavily involved in local politics and I may return in the future. Now is the right time for me to concentrate on my business.”

Councillor David Chambers, leader of Malvern Hill District Council, added: “Melanie has been a constant and positive presence in the council over the past six years and it is sad to see her stepping down. However, she will be leaving a lasting legacy for us to build upon, both locally and across Worcestershire.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Melanie for her support, energy and determination. She will be a tough act to follow.”

In addition to Mrs Baker, fellow Councillor Mike Morgan announced he will not be standing in the elections on May 2.

At a meeting of Upton Town Council in March, he said: “I have been on the District Council for 12 years and a member of the Town Council before that.

“As has been reported in the press, working times often make it difficult for Councillors like myself to be at every meeting and represent our constituents fully.

"You cannot be a slave to two masters, and so I will not be standing for re-election in May.”

Cllr Chambers added: "Mike Morgan will be greatly missed. He has been a loyal servant, not just of the Council but also to the Conservative Group.

"I had hoped he would feel able to continue but quite understand that pressure of work commitments can be very difficult to overcome, and I very much hope that Mike will return as a Councillor in the future."