A RAMSBOTTOM councillor is set to step down at the next election.

Rob Hodkinson was first elected as a Conservative representative for the ward five years ago.

But, he will stand down from his position at May's local election due to family reasons.

Cllr Hodkinson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a councillor and it has been an honour to serve the residents of Ramsbottom.

"I have consistently asked questions about our town in the council chamber and helped fight to protect our green spaces and green belt.

"I have been active within Ramsbottom Business Group, helping to organise events such as the Chocolate Festival and 1940s weekend and have helped hundreds of people with local casework – housing issues, planning, neighbour disputes, parking etc..”

Ramsbottom businessman Gregg Fletcher will take over as the Conservative candidate for Ramsbottom in May's local election.

Mr Fletcher lives on Stanford Hall Crescent, on the Whittingham Drive estate in the town, and was previously the chairman of Ramsbottom Business Group. He now devotes his spare time to organising the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, Farmers Markets and other events in the town.

He is married to his wife Terri, and has two daughters.

Mr Fletcher will go up against the Labour Party's selection, Clare Cummins, who also lives in Ramsbottom with her family.

As well as organising the all-day Ramsbottom Get Together, she has also helped launch a regular outdoor play session for toddlers.