FIVE more Labour councillors are expected to retire ahead of next year's local elections.

City of York Labour Party has announced today that Councillors Fiona Fitzpatrick, Sandy Fraser, David Horton, Ruth Potter and Anna Semlyen will retire from the council in May 2015.

Coun Fitzpatrick said: "I am standing down to return to a career in education that will include helping to set up literacy projects in disadvantaged inner city areas in the USA.

"It has been a privilege to represent the residents of Hull Road ward and I will continue to work with my fellow Councillor Neil Barnes in this role until the election next May."

Coun Ruth Potter said she had "thoroughly enjoyed representing local residents" in Beckfield and Heworth, and thanked them for their support.

She said: "However, I have decided that after 16 years service and after returning to full time work I need a change so that I can follow my other interests and hobbies. It has been a wonderful experience being part of the Labour group and I wish all my colleagues good luck in the future."

Coun Anna Semlyen said the decision was "a work life balance" issue, and would enable her to work as a yoga teacher during the evening, and Couns Horton and Fraser said they would now focus on other activities.

The announcement comes days after Labour Councillors Ken King, David Scott and Helen Douglas all lost out in a selection battle in Clifton, which all three currently represent, and Coun Joe Riches announced in May he will step down next year to run as MP for York Outer.

York's Labour Party chair Viv Kind, said: "Whilst City of York Labour Party is sorry that these well regarded councillors have decided to stand down, we support them fully in reaching their decision.

"We are very grateful to all these councillors for the huge contribution they have made to the city on behalf of Labour. No matter how long they have served on the Council, each of them has worked with unrelenting commitment and enthusiasm to represent the residents in their wards and for York."