A long serving councillor in Bury St Edmunds, who was awarded an MBE for services to the community, is to stand down in May’s elections.
Cllr Paul Farmer has represented the Abbeygate ward for St Edmundsbury Borough Council for 12 years and has decided to ‘give way to someone younger and fitter’.
He served as cabinet member for arts and culture with his portfolio including the sale of Manor House Museum.
After the 2007 election, Cllr Farmer became responsible for finance and resources, which featured the annual budget and council tax setting.
He also served on a number of committees including as chairman of the democratic renewal and mayoral advisory committees.
In 2010, Cllr Farmer returned to the back benches for health reasons and he was re-elected in 2011 gaining nearly 60 per cent of the votes cast.
Asked about the differences he has made, Cllr Farmer said: “Helping electors fight oppressive planning applications and introducing and retaining the Cumulative Impact (licensing) Policy in the historic core zone’.
During his time on the council, he raised more than £1,000 for charity by playing the piano at various locations in the town.
He was also a member of Suffolk County Council and Bury St Edmunds Town Council.
In May 2013, he was awarded the MBE for services to the community in Suffolk.
After a summer of ‘intensive gardening’, he hopes to be able to contribute to town life in another capacity.