A CITY councillor and former Lord Mayor is standing down after ten years.

Julie Gunnell, who represents the Micklegate ward and served as Lord Mayor in 2013/14, is standing down at the end of March, triggering a by-election.

She said changes in her personal life meant she no longer had the time to carry out her council duties properly.

Cllr Gunnell said: “My personal life has changed significantly, with a new job and a grandson who I help look after.”

Cllr Gunnell said she also wants more time to spend with her sister, who is facing treatment for cancer, and her sister’s young children.

Leaving the council after a decade, she said she would miss the local people she meets and speaks to as a ward councillor, and the community groups she has been involved with.

“I want to thank all the residents and local people who have helped and supported me over the years.

“I wish my ward colleagues Johnny and Lars all the best.”

“One of the best things I have done in my time on the council was in my year as Lord Mayor, and the work with IDAS and the Jack Raine Foundation to raise awareness around domestic violence and the abuse of children.”

She added: “I am also proud of the work I did with looked after children.

York Press:

"I sat on the Show Me That I Matter board and had many meetings with children and young people, and I loved that.”

When she was elected Cllr Gunnell followed the footsteps of her father Ken King, who had served for 33 years by the time he quit the Labour group in 2014 amid a deselection row.

Her resignation will prompt a by-election in Micklegate ward, which has three councillors.

Currently Cllr Gunnell serves alongside the Green party’s Lars Kramm and independent Johnny Hayes.

At the May 2015 election, Cllr Hayes topped the polls with Cllr Gunnell in second place and Cllr Kramm third.

The next placed candidate was Labour's Nick Button, while the then Labour councillor and city transport boss Dave Merrett lost his seat and fell into seventh place.

A date for the by-election will be announced in due course.