SOUTH Ribble's mayor elect, Councillor Jeff Knowles, will not be standing as mayor for the forthcoming year due to ill health.

Coun Knowles, who is currently the borough's deputy mayor, has not been well for some time.

His wife, Lyn, who was due to become mayoress, on May 21, has also resigned her civic role.

Coun Jonathan Hesketh, who was to have been nominated as this year's deputy mayor has agreed to step into Coun Knowles's shoes and discussions are currently taking place.

Coun David Howarth, who proposed Coun Knowles as mayor at next week's official installation ceremony, said: "Jeff has not enjoyed the best of health in recent times and in view of this I have agreed with both Jeff and his family that it would not be in his best interests to accept the position.

"It is with great sadness and regret therefore that I withdraw my nomination for mayor on health grounds."