Wife’s ill health behind Keith Wood’s decision

First published in News

A HAMPSHIRE council leader is to stand down after revealing his wife is unwell.

Keith Wood, pictured, who has been at the helm of Winchester City Council for two years, announced yesterday that he would not be seeking re-election in his ward of Sparsholt in May.

He will remain leader of the council but is standing down as leader of the Conservative group once an election for a successor can be organised.

In a statement, he said: “I do not intend to stand again for election in May. My wife is not in good health and it would not be sensible for me to seek another term.”

Cllr Wood added: “It has been a privilege to lead the council in the past two years. I am grateful for the support and advice I have received from councillors, officers and the public not least in dealing with the floods.

“I am proud of the council’s achievement in maintaining high-quality services for the people of the Winchester district while freezing council tax and supporting the local economy through difficult times.

“There are several major schemes coming forward which will do much to resolve the council’s longer-term financial problems. Winchester has become one of local government’s success stories and has succeeded in blending the historic environment with a vibrant economy which has made it such a popular place to live.”

In recent months Cllr Wood has been embroiled in controversy over the future of the River Park leisure Centre. Initial plans to expand onto River Park have been strongly opposed.

Two Tory councillors, Jamie Scott and Derek Green, have defected to the Lib Dems, making the council hung, with no overall control.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree