A STALWART Pendle councillor has thanked residents for their support after illness forced him to resign.

Coun John David, the Liberal Democrat member for Old Laund Booth since 1986, said he felt ‘unable to continue’ in his role because of a serious relapse in his health as a result of a kidney transplant 17 years ago.

Pendle’s Lib Dem leader, Coun Tony Greaves, said Coun David’s contribution to public life in Pendle had been ‘huge’.

In a letter to residents in Fence and Wheatley Lane, Coun David said his duties had been interrupted by more frequent trips to hospital in Manchester. He said: “This means that it is certain that I cannot be available to deal with residents’ queries in our ward in the way that I believe is essential.

“It is also bound to mean that I can no longer routinely represent the ward at Pendle Council where I am on a number of the more significant committees. Again this is a situation which I believe is not acceptable to you as residents.

“As I have been your councillor for twenty-eight years you will realise that this is not a decision I have taken lightly, but the more thought I have given to it, the more inevitable it has become.

“In particular the support and friendship I have received from so many residents, and for which I am grateful, has weighed heavily on my mind on making this decision.”

Coun David and his wife, Judith, served as Mayor and Mayoress of the borough in 1992/93.

He also served as leader of the Pendle Lib Dem party and deputy leader of the council.

He listed the establishment of green belt land near Noggarth and the successful fight against a recycling plant at Greenhead Lane as his proudest achievements.

Coun Greaves said: “I hope that the council will be able to pay some kind of recognition to his service, but in the meantime we just wish him well for a recovery from his illness, and send both John and Judith our very best wishes for the future.”

Pendle Lib Dem members will select a candidate for the July 3 by-election at a meeting tonight.