FORMER South Oxfordshire District Council leader John Cotton will not seek re-election in May.

Mr Cotton was suspended and then expelled by the South Oxfordshire District Council Conservative group earlier this year after voting against a key planning proposal in December.

Another Conservative expelled by the SODC group, Tony Harbour, will not stand again either.

Of four others suspended in January, just Elizabeth Gillespie will stand as a Conservative to retain Garsington and Horspath.

Elaine Hornsby will stand as an independent in Wallingford, while Sue Lawson and Imran Lokhon will not seek re-election at all.

They are six of seven Tory councillors who voted against the controversial SODC Local Plan in December. That would see 28,500 new homes built in the district – including on key Green Belt sites – up to 2034.

READ MORE: Conservative councillors' appeals over suspensions all rejected by party

Mr Cotton, who was first elected as a district councillor in 1999, said: “I've had the honour of representing my local community for 20 years. It's time to let someone else have a chance to enjoy it as much as I have.

“I look forward to a future council building the homes and infrastructure we need, delivering great services, keeping taxes low – all whilst protecting and improving the fantastic place we live in.”

He was council leader from October 2014 until April 2018.

Of current SODC councillors, 18 will seek re-election, including Conservative John Walsh. He also voted against the Local Plan but seemingly faced not sanctions.

In total, 10 Conservative councillors will stand down.

As announced last month, Vale of White Horse leader Roger Cox will not seek re-election in Faringdon.

He has been a district councillor since 2003 and was elected deputy leader in 2011. He was elected leader in May 2018 after Matthew Barber stood down.

Mr Barber, who is likely to be elected Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley next year, will stand again in Steventon and the Hanneys.

READ AGAIN: Matthew Barber selected as Tory candidate for police and crime commissioner role

At Vale, 26 current councillors will stand for re-election. Another 12 will not, including Yvonne Constance. She is also the county council’s cabinet member for environment.

While all wards in South Oxfordshire and Vale will be subject to an election, one third of seats in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire will be too.

Charles Cottrell-Dormer, who is thought to be the longest-serving councillor in Oxfordshire, will look to retain his Stonesfield and Tackley ward. He has been been a councillor in West Oxfordshire since 1969 and a district councillor since 1974.

Former Big Brother contestant Derek Laud will stand for the Lib Dems in Witney West.

The Lib Dems' West Oxfordshire council group leader, Andy Graham, will stand again in Charlbury and Finstock.

The leader of Cherwell District Council's Labour group, Sean Woodcock, will seek to retain his Banbury Ruscote ward.

All elections will be held on May 2. For more information, visit the respective councils' websites.