By Tim Clarke 13/04 Updated: 15/04 10:12
WHATEVER the result of next month's local elections there are certain to be two very familiar faces missing from Worcester City Council.
Former Worcester Mayors Coun Mike Layland and his sister in law Coun Margaret Layland have both decided not to seek re-election in their respective wards of Nunnery and St John's.
The Independent councillors are among the longest-serving in Worcester and their decision to stand down has blown wide open the race for overall control of the council on May 3.
Mrs Layland was first elected to her ward as a Labour candidate in 1992 before becoming an Independent in 1998.
She also served as Mayor of Worcester in 1997/98.
The 59-year-old, who is married to Worcester City FC vice chairman Colin Layland, said it was with mixed emotions she had taken the decision to call it a day after two decades serving the people of St John's.
But she said it would enable her to spend more time with her family, including her son Paul who lives in Oxford, and fulfil her voluntary work with the Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire branch of the RSPCA where she co-ordinates the rehoming of small animals.
"I think 20 years is a good point to finish and the fact I will be 60 this year is another good reason," she said.
"There really are mixed emotions because so much of me thinks 'this is my patch' and it has been such a big part of my life for so long." Mrs Layland, who has lived in St John's with her husband for nearly 40 years, has helped lead many community campaigns, including making sure Laugherne Brook became a designated local nature reserve.
She has also served as chair of the Friends of Cripplegate Park and helped Dines Green get its first pharmacy where she later worked. "I've managed to win five elections and I am so grateful for the support of people here," she said.
Mr Layland, who has twice served as the city's mayor, could not be contacted by the Standard.
Here is the full list of candidates standing in 12 wards at next month's Worcester City Council elections:
Pam Clayton (Conservative)
Jim Holtom (UKIP)
Annie O'Dell (Green Party)
Oliver Orr (Liberal Democrat)
Joy Squires (Labour)
Linda Jackson (Green Party)
Antony McIver (Liberal Democrat)
Gaynor Pritchard (Labour)
Robert Rowden (Conservative)
Peter McNally (Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts)
Russell O'Dell (Green Party)
Derek Prodger (Conservative)
Matthew Reynolds (Labour)
Lawson Alec Cartwright (UKIP)
Lynn Denham (Labour)
Francis Lankester (Conservative)
Louis Stephen (Green Party)
Sue Askin (Liberal Democrat)
Peter Robinson (Green Party)
Mike Whitehouse (Conservative)
Roger Berry (Labour)
Simon Harrison (Conservative)
Justin Kirby (Green Party)
Richard Boorn (Labour)
Matthew Jenkins (Green Party)
Carl Mason (British National Party)
Neil Monkhouse (Conservative)
Suzanne Ford (Green Party)
Adrian Gregson (Labour)
Carl Humphries (UKIP)
Edward Turner (Conservative)
Stephen Brohan (Green Party)
Simon Geraghty (Conservative)
James Goad (UKIP)
Barry MacGabhann (Liberal Democrat)
Richard Morris (Labour)
Peter Nielsen (Independent)
Neill Bucktin (Conservative)
Christine Cawthorne (Labour)
Mark Davies (Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts)
Olaf Twiehaus (Green Party)
Melanie Allcott (Liberal Democrat)
Keith Burton (Conservative)
Neil Laurenson (Green Party)
Matthew Willis (Labour)
Alan Amos (Labour)
Godfrey Benson (Conservative)
Barbara Mitra (Green Party)
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