A TOP city councillor has stepped down from his role to embark on a PhD – at the age of 66.

Councillor Paul Lewzey has resigned from his position as Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for children’s social care.

The Peartree ward member says he made the decision in order to study for a PhD at the University of Southampton, though he will remain as a councillor.

He will be replaced in his cabinet position by Bitterne councillor, John Jordan.

Cllr Lewzey will conduct research into dementia during the seven-year-long study, and said it was never too late to start embark on such work.

“I’m really pleased to be doing this,” he said. “I think people should never stop making use of education, whatever age you are.

“I’m particularly interested in the dementia in older people and the use of electronic devices and how they help people to communicate and improve the quality of their lives.

“That was my thesis while studying an MSC at the University of Southampton and I wanted to take that further with a PhD.”

Councillor Lewzey leaves his role as cabinet member for Children’s Social Care, after originally being appointed in 2015.

During his 15 months in the position, he oversaw services such as child safeguarding and foster care.

He also helped to reduce the number of looked after children in the city during his time in the role.

Council leader Simon Letts, said: “I would like to thank Councillor Lewzey for the contribution he has made in leading on children’s social care.

“I am particularly pleased with the work that Paul has done engaging with our looked after children, bringing them to the heart of the decision making process.

“I wish Paul well in his studies on a topic of real importance to the city of Southampton.”