A VETERAN councillor is looking to stand down following triple heart by-pass surgery.

In December John Knapman, who has held the Chigwell Village seat on Epping Forest District Council for 20 years, underwent the complicated procedure.

Despite recovering well, the 67 year-old has decided to call time on his political career, having moved to a smaller house an hour and a quarter away in Long Millford, Suffolk to be closer to his grandchildren.

The retired teacher said: “I have spoken with the leader of the district and parish council, and my resident’s association, and I’m clearly not going to stand for re-election which is not until 2020.

"But it is more likely that I will stand down before that time once some issues I have been working on are resolved.

“Namely, a bus service for Chigwell which is due this year, the resolution of the neighbourhood Local Plan situation and a community hub in Chigwell.

“A planing application for the hub will come up on February 21 and the neighbourhood plan is about to be submitted.

“I expect I’ll stand down sometime March onwards, but I’d like to do it in May to coincide with the local election. Otherwise it would cost the parish about £5,000.”