A VETERAN councillor is stepping down after representing a town for more than 20 years.

Cllr Tim Pickstone, currently serving his second year as Mayor of Bury, will stand down at the next borough elections in May.

He has been a Liberal Democrat representative for the Holyrood ward in Prestwich for 22 years and served as his group's leader for most of that time.

Cllr Pickstone, the longest-serving councillor for Prestwich, told the Bury Times he felt it was time to move on.

He said: "It has been an enormous privilege to represent the residents of the Holyrood ward for the last 22 years.

"Together we've achieved some really positive things for the local area but above all it has been so great to be able to meet and to help so many people over the years.

"Thank you so much for your support, it is very much appreciated.

"It's been an amazing 22 years and if you'd have said to me all those years ago when I first started that I'd still be doing this, I wouldn't have believed you.

"But I've stayed on for so long because Holyrood is a wonderful area full of great people and I've loved every minute of it.

"We've done many things over the years that I'm quite proud of, such as stopping Prestwich Arts College from being closed down and preventing a sports hall from being built on Heaton Park in the area.

"Holyrood is such a nice place to live and I'm sure the people who live there will keep it that way for many decades to come."

Lib Dems in Prestwich have announced their candidates in their top wards, with Ugonna Edeoga and Stephen Lewis standing in St. Mary's and Mike Hankey standing in Holyrood.

Cllr Michael Powell added: "The Liberal Democrats have ambitious plans to help keep our communities as great places to live.

"Residents know that we work hard, and keep in touch all year round.

"Bury Council might be run by the Labour Party at the moment, but we are fighting hard to get the best deal for our residents.