TRIBUTES have been paid to four members of Wyre Forest District Council who are standing down at the elections in May.

With a combined service of 86 years, councillors Mike Kelly, Lynn Hyde, Pauline Hayward, and Douglas Godwin will not be seeking election to the council on May 7.

Councillor Kelly, of Habberley and Blakebrook, has a total of 34 years service as a member of the council. He was first elected to Wyre Forest District Council in 1973 and served as chairman in 1989 t0 1990. He was also Mayor of Kidderminster in 1992 to 1993.

Councillor Hyde, also of Habberley and Blakebrook, will also step down after being elected to the council in 2014. She had spent two previous periods as a district councillor, bringing her total service to 13 years.

Councillor Hayward, of Blakedown and Chaddesley, has been a member of the council since 1983 and her 32 years as a member represents the second longest continuous service. She was chairman of the council in 2003 to 2004.

Councillor Godwin, of Rock, has served as the member representing Rock for seven years.

Councillor Stephen Williams, chairman of the council, led tributes to the councillors thanking them for their dedicated work.

He said: "I would like to pay tribute to the four members who are standing down at this election. Between them, they have a fantastic record of dedicated service to local communities totalling well over 80 years, and include two of my distinguished predecessors in the role of chairman, councillor Pauline Hayward and councillor Mike Kelly. Mike’s retirement marks the end of an era as he is the only current member who had previously served on the Borough of Kidderminster, which ceased to exist on local government reorganisation in 1974.

"I am sure all members of the council would join me in thanking them for their contribution and wishing them well for the future."