A LONG-SERVING borough councillor has stepped down after almost a decade of serving the ward of Baughurst and Tadley North.

Councillor Graham Round took the decision to step down after seeing his business, which is based south of Bristol, rapidly expand.

He said: “I have loved being a councillor and I know I will really miss it, but over the last 24 months the travelling has become too much. I took the decision with my wife – something had to give.”

Cllr Round, who has been a borough councillor for around nine years, said the greatest memories he will take away are those of helping people who otherwise would not know where to turn.

He said: “It has been very satisfying to be able to help people with their problems, whether it be flytipping, planning applications or burst drains.

“It is nice to be able to help them by navigating the system for them, and I think my highlights of being a councillor have been those cases where I know I have been able to help and been able to improve people’s situations.”

Cllr Round, who runs carwash technology company PSD Codax, will still be living in Baughurst.

He said: “I have only just taken this decision, so I’m not sure yet how much I will continue to be involved with the local community.

“I’m getting close to retirement age, so it may be that I will carry on in some capacity.

“I would love to continue as a councillor but as the business is expanding into Europe, it is just taking up too much of my time and there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to continue juggling everything.”

There is now a casual vacancy for a councillor for Baughurst and Tadley North.

A casual vacancy is usually filled by means of a by-election to elect a new member to fill the vacant seat on the council.

Two electors from the ward have to write to the borough’s returning officer to ask for a by-election to be called. Providing this happens, it is likely that an election will take place on May 22, when voters in 21 other wards will go to the polls.