Royston Smith MP will be a very tough act to follow! 

He has been a leading figure in Southampton politics and civic life for over two decades.

As council leader he achieved a huge amount, importantly making the city's prosperity the top priority.

Many of the major developments in the city came about or were started under Royston's watch, like the regeneration of Guildhall Square and the QE2 Mile. 

Although we are very different types of people Royston has been a bit of a mentor to me over many years and his leadership on the council showed how to really get things done; dare I say... how to 'Get Southampton Moving'.

As an MP he has been extremely supportive, lobbying on behalf of the city and his council colleagues with government.

READ MORE: Royston Smith MP to step down ahead of next General Election

Political careers don't go on forever and when you do step back I think the most important thing is to ask how did I use my time and did I make a difference. In Royston's case that list of things is enormous!

Politics can be hugely demanding on people's personal lives and is often all consuming.

There are massive highs, like when you can use your office to achieve great things and when you help individuals with their problems, but it can be exhausting and frustrating, impact relationships and mean other personal sacrifices. 

It’s so important to get a balance in life and ensure you get to spend time with loved ones and whilst it's a cliche, it is so true. 

READ MORE: Who is Royston Smith and how did he get to where he is now?

I wish Royston a long and happy retirement from frontline politics when it comes and wish him well with what he does next.

I know he will continue to champion Southampton in every possible way.

Councillor Jeremy Moulton

Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group & Conservative councillor for Millbrook