A LONG-SERVING Coventry councillor and ex-Lord Mayor is to quit the council next year.
Hazel Noonan has announced she will stand down as a councillor next year, and will not stand for re-election next May.
She has served as a Conservative councillor for the Cheylesmore ward for fifteen years.
Her time in office included a year as Lord Mayor in 2014/15.
She served as a leading cabinet member when the Conservatives were in power at Coventry City Council between 2004 and 2010.
She said: “It’s been enjoyable and an honour to represent Cheylesmore, Fenside, Whitley and Stonehouse Estate residents.
“Living in Whitley has given me the opportunity to be hands on, to meet residents and listen to the issues in the area.
“I will have many fond memories of my time as a councillor, dealing with local issues, cabinet member while Conservatives were in control of the city council and recently the honour of representing the city in my role as Coventry’s Lord Mayor.’’
She added she “looks forward to supporting her successor to enable the hard work she has done over the years to continue.”
Since she was first elected as councillor for Cheylesmore in May 2000, the ward has often been a marginal, returning both Labour and Conservative candidates to the council.
The Conservative party will select her replacement candidate later this year.
She worked for many years alongside fellow Cheylesmore councillor, Conservative cabinet member and leading group figure Kevin Foster, who is now the Tory MP for Torbay.
Until 2010, she served cabinet member for city services – in charge of then controversial areas including bin collections and potholes; and as cabinet member for community services, with wide ranging responsibilities including care of the elderly.
Prior to becoming a councillor, she worked as a senior care assistant in a local care home.
She has grown up children and two grandchildren. Her eldest, Christopher, accompanied her as her consort in her mayoral year.
She is a keen horse rider and has been an amateur jockey.
Conservative group leader, councillor John Blundell, said: “It will be sad to see her go.
“I understand the reasons Hazel’s moving on and we wish her luck in the future whatever she decides to do.
“She’s made a valuable contribution to the Conservative group and Coventry City Council through the various offices she’s served in.
“Hopefully we may be able to mark her service and her year as Lord Mayor with appropriate recognition at Coventry City Council.”