A BURNLEY Liberal Democrat councillor has been forced to step down due to ill health.

Julie Johnson, who represented the Rosegrove with Lowerhouse ward, said she was not able to devote her full energies to the task as she has problems with her hip, affecting her mobility.

She said: “I feel strongly that if you’re going to be a councillor and represent people, you have to do it properly.

“My health means I haven't been in a position to do that for some time.

"I've been struggling to walk any distance because of problems with my hip.

“I did consider resigning earlier but hoped that I would recover and be able to carry on, but it hasn’t worked out that way.

“Several visits to hospital haven’t helped.”

Councillors Lynne Briggs and Kate Mottershead are looking after local residents in the ward, supported by County Councillor Jeff Sumner.

Burnley Borough Council leader Charlie Briggs said: “I hope Julie comes back to full health quickly and wish her well.”

Once two voters from somewhere in the Burnley Borough area have written to Burnley Council’s chief executive asking for a by-election, one will be called.