A former Mayor of Lincoln has been forced to stand down following a stroke earlier this year.
A by-election will now take place in the Witham Ward on the same day as the General Election (December 12) after Conservative Councillor Keith Weaver stepped down.
Mr Weaver, who turns 75 next week, told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines he suffered a stroke on the day of the 2019 May local elections and said he had not fully recovered from it.
He was due to stand in next May 2020’s local elections – but felt he would not be able to.
Mr Weaver, who was first elected to City of Lincoln Council in 2007, said: “I have very much enjoyed my time as councillor.
“I’d just like to thank [my residents] all for the support they have given me. I didn’t want it to end this way but I’m not fit to go back out just yet.”
Mr Weaver spent time as the chairman of the council and deputy leader before he became the city’s 812th Mayor in 2018.
However, his stroke meant he could not attend the handover of the Mayoral chains to Councillor Sue Burke in May.
Mr Weaver hoped the next councillor would continue to be a Conservative, and praised his party’s national position.
“I think with Boris in control and providing he gets his finger pulled out I think we’ll win,” he said.
Deputy leader of the Conservatives at City of Lincoln and fellow ward member Councillor Thomas Dyer, praised Mr Weaver for being an “active councillor”.
“It is with sadness that Keith has stepped down from the authority following health issues,” he said.
“Keith has always had a passion for life on the council”
“It is a shame he felt he had to step down.”
The party has already selected their next candidate in Bill Mara.
The deadline for candidates to hand their applications in for the by-election is 4pm, Friday (November 15).
Whoever wins will face a short five-month term in office before the seat is up for grabs again as part of Lincoln’s election process which sees a third of wards elected at a time.
SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.