Worcestershire councillor to step down

A prominent Malvern Conservative councillor has announced she will not be standing in the local elections on 2 May.

Councillor Melanie Baker plans to step down to concentrate on the expansion of her facilities management business and charity work.

Mrs Baker, who has represented the Chase Ward since winning a by-election in 2013, has been a key member of the District Council’s Executive Team, leading on a variety of projects in her role as Deputy Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Development & Infrastructure. A key part of her portfolio includes the ongoing delivery of the South Worcestershire Development Plan – the blueprint for economic development and housing in the south of the county.

Councillor Baker, said: “I’ve loved representing people in the Chase Ward over the past six years. It has been wonderful to meet and help so many people who form the heart of our communities, many of whom I have got to know personally.

“Development and planning is a steep learning curve, but it is a challenge I embraced. Development is pivotal to local economic development, jobs and quality of life for our residents so it is very rewarding to see businesses and people thrive and know you have made a difference.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for sending me their best wishes for the future. I’m still going to be heavily involved in local politics and I may return in the future. Now is the right time for me to concentrate on my business.”

Councillor David Chambers, leader of Malvern Hill District Council, added: “Melanie has been a constant and positive presence in the council over the past six years and it is sad to see her stepping down. However, she will be leaving a lasting legacy for us to build upon, both locally and across Worcestershire.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Melanie for her support, energy and determination. She will be a tough act to follow.”