A YORK councillor says he intends to see out his term of office after moving to Worthing for the benefit of his infirm wife.

Cllr George Barton, deputy Conservative group leader and councillor for Wheldrake, revealed that his wife Vee, 70, suffered two crushed vertebrae and head injuries when they both accidentally fell eight feet off a parapet onto concrete in York last December.

He suffered minor injuries but his wife had since had to undergo two operations on her skull and one on an eye, and she might still need spinal surgery later this year. He had therefore agreed to a request from their son and daughter to move down to the south coast to be near them, so they could help look after Vee.

To his amazement, his house sold within two weeks of putting it on the market and so had made the move much more quickly than expected.

Cllr Barton, 70, told The Press he had considered resigning his seat on City of York Council but, encouraged by his wife to stay on, decided to remain a councillor until the elections next May, when he would stand down.

He said he would continue to work for a minimum of 30 hours a week on council business, attending all the required committee, group and council meetings.

"I am travelling up and down at my own expense and staying in digs," he said.

He said he was heavily involved in local residents' efforts to resist proposals in the council's draft Local Plan, for example in Elvington, and he wanted to stay with them until the election.

"To be honest, I also wanted to stay on to ensure a decent candidate was secured who could stand in my place for the party at the next election."

Tory group leader Cllr Chris Steward said he was satisfied Cllr Barton would continue to work as hard as a councillor as anyone else, and would carry out all his duties as a councillor.

He said there was no question of the Conservative Party wanting to avoid a by-election in Wheldrake, where Cllr Barton had achieved a healthy majority at the last election.