THE leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, James Mills, is standing down from his role after four years.

Mr Mills is moving to Bristol with his wife, who will be training for ordination at the city’s Trinity College.

He was first elected as a district councillor in 2002 to represent Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt before winning the Witney East seat in 2006.

He held this until 2018, when he then won the Bampton and Clanfield seat.

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“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the council and would like to thank all my fellow councillors and residents for their support through a variety of challenges, not least of which has been the ongoing coronavirus,” said Mr Mills.

Among the highlights of his leadership, Mr Mills said he was particularly proud of the adoption of the Local Plan in 2018 after a nine-year wait, while he also ensured council tax is the second lowest of all districts in England.

He will formally step down at the next full council meeting on October 28 but will retain his Bampton and Clanfield seat until the election in May next year.

Mr Mills also served as an Oxfordshire county councillor for Witney West and Bampton from 2015-17, was on Witney Town Council from 2007-11 and was mayor of the town from 2009-11.