A councillor has decided it is time to step down, saying: "I cannot work with people I don't trust."

While many are ready to stand again for a seat on Maldon District Council, some established members have taken the decision to stand down.

Among the councillors who will not be standing this year are Beverley Acevedo (Althorne), Helen Elliott (Burnham North), David Sismey (Great Totham), Miriam Lewis (Heybridge West), John Archer (Purleigh), Andrew St. Joseph (Tollesbury) and current council chairman Henry Bass (Wickham Bishops and Woodham).

Mrs Lewis has decided to step down from the council after 12 years of service.

She said she has "re-prioritised" following the loss of her daughter 16 months ago.

Despite many happy memories, she feels her time was tarnished by negative events.

She said: "I have made many good friends through my term in office but there is a handful of members that I find to be rather unpleasant and I cannot work with people I don't trust. It is time to move on."

Mr Bass spoke fondly of his time at the council, however he feels it is time for a "younger councillor" to take his place.

His family have a historic connection with council, with Mr Bass being one of many generations to take their place among the councillors.

He said: "I have immensely enjoyed my time as a district councillor and because of my family's dedication to this council which has lasted since the 1950s.

"It is now time for me to step aside and allow an opportunity for a younger councillor with fresh ideas to help take the council forward and I wish the council well in the future."

Another councillor, who has spent four years representing Althorne is Mrs Acevedo.

She has decided not to stand again following her and her husband's decision to retire, saying "I feel I have done my bit".

Mrs Acevedo said: "I have enjoyed my four years as a member, well most of it. To do the job properly is very time consuming and often quite frustrating when trying to get results for the residents with often much red tape."

"My husband and I have recently sold our business and are now retired so want to enjoy our time.

"If I can't give the time needed to do a good job as a council member, then I believe I shouldn't take on that responsibility.

"I would like to thank all at Maldon District Council for making me so welcome, and of course the people of Maldon, in particular the residents of Althorne."