A FORMER Oswestry mayor believes he is choosing the right time to step down from his role on Oswestry Town Council.

Councillor Chris Schofield confirmed last week he will not seek re-election for the Cambrian Ward at May's elections, as he chaired his final finance meeting.

While he hopes his life as a councillor may continue – he is standing as a Conservative for Shropshire Council – he insists he is leaving after a job well done with many highlights.

"You've got to know when the time is right," he said.

"Obviously there's been new faces coming through and I've chaired most of the committees there – I've taken them as far as I can at town council level.

"We've got a grandchild coming imminently so it means having more time for things like that.

"In effect it's time to get a life for myself as we're not getting any younger, but I have put my name down for Oswestry East for the council elections.

"Being mayor was a highlight – I was in the role in 2013 and we had a fantastic time representing the people of Oswestry at local and county level.

"That was wonderful, but also being part of a council that won the National Council of the Year award twice – in 2005 and 2016.

"One of my biggest achievements was being asked by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) to represent Oswestry to help them review their services.

"That was a lovely thing to do for Oswestry Town Council."

Cllr Schofield believes that being a councillor is largely a positive experience, but admits some changes were tough to take.

He added: "I think I will miss it for a short time – the town council does brilliant things but the biggest change for me is, and this goes for any council, is social media.

"I don't know how people combat that. I don't want it to sound sour grapes but some councillors spend more time talking on the internet than they do in the chamber.

"I hope [the new intake] realise they are there to serve the public. For no other reason are you there, especially not your own interests, and I admire anyone from any political background who puts their head above the parapet.

"But what I can't abide is people constantly sniping from the sidelines – put your names forward, represent your community and enjoy it."

Current mayor Cllr Duncan Kerr paid tribute to his colleague. He said: "I pay tribute to your dedication and commitment.

"We haven’t always agreed but I have always respected you. That’s what councils do – they disagree but we respect each other.

"I think you’ve been a brilliant chairman because you welcome people in."

Meanwhile, Cllrs Vince Hunt and Peter Cherrington also both confirmed their decisions not to seek re-election, with the former standing for the Llanymynech ward for Shropshire Council.