A PROMINENT local councillor has resigned following ten years of service in the Headington ward.

Ruth Wilkinson stood down following a 'substantial increase' in 'family pressures' over the past few weeks, which has seen her leave Oxford for longer periods.

Councillor Wilkinson said: “It’s been a huge honour to represent Headington Ward residents and work with them to get things done. I want to thank them for their terrific support over my time as councillor.

“I’ve been coping with mounting family pressures but now I’m needed out of Oxford more and more.

“I think it’s best for Headington if I make way for an energetic new candidate. My colleagues [Mohammed] Altaf-Khan and Roz Smith are brilliant councillors, I know they will continue to work hard for residents.”

Andrew Gant, Leader of the Opposition on Oxford City Council and Liberal Democrat councillor, added: “Ruth has been an inspiration and a wonderful colleague. No Councillor has worked harder or with more dedication for the residents of her ward and the city more widely.

“I would like to thank Ruth for her ten years of service, and wish her and her family well in the future at this difficult time.”

A by-election is expected to be held in July, though there has been no confirmation of dates from the city council.

Ms Wilkinson was last elected in 2016, winning well over 50 per cent of the vote.

Standing in the same ward earlier this year, her Lib Dem colleague Mohammed Altaf-Khan won more votes than all of his opponents combined. The Lib Dems say they are hoping to choose their candidate by the end of the week.