A FORMER Kidderminster mayor and his wife have received awards for long service to their political party.

Nigel and Jennifer Knowles were presented with a merit award for long service to the Labour Party at an at Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough ground by Wyre Forest Labour chairman Bernadette Conner and Wyre Forest district councillor Mike Kelly.

Mr and Mrs Knowles have been active members of the party for 43 years. Mr Knowles is currently a Franche ward representative on the district council - where he was previously a councillor from 1990 until 2002 and was chairman of the authority in 1996. He has been Worcestershire County Council chairman, in 1999 and was Kidderminster Mayor in 2000.

He has stood as a parliamentary candidate for Labour on eight occasions, including unsuccessfully for Wyre Forest in 2010 and will bid to represent Solihull at the 2015 general election.

Mr Knowles said: "We are proud to receive this award. We are just as determined now to get Labour elected as we were when we joined in 1970. It has been a life-long journey for us, we have now served our apprenticeship."

Mrs Knowles added: "There have been five in this marriage - myself, Nigel, our daughter Natasha, son Keiran and the Labour Party."

The Knowles's awards were both signed by party leader Ed Miliband and general secretary Iain McNicol.