FOLLOWING a career in local politics spanning more than 40 years — representing the Isle of Wight and the Sandown community — Heather Humby is to stand down as a county councillor.
The 77-year-old Independent councillor will step down at the next Isle of Wight Council elections in May after 18 unbroken years with the local authority.
She is its longest-serving member, representing Sandown North.
On the Isle of Wight Council, established in 1995, she served two years as its chairman, her proudest achievement with the authority, wearing the chain of office between April 2002 and April 2004.
Cllr Humby, of Pier Street, Sandown, said: "Standing down as an Isle of Wight councillor is a decision I have not taken lightly because it has always been a privilege to serve the town and its people and to try to do my best for the Island.
"When I started, there were no political groups, all councillors were independent with no political axes to grind and their loyalty was only to the people who elected them into office.
"However, we now have the undemocratic cabinet style of local government, with the ruling party making all the decisions, and I feel the Island people are not getting a fair input into big issues.
"I don’t like it. It’s time for someone younger — perhaps someone not brought up in the traditional council system — to take over.
"I do hope whoever does will do their best for Sandown and the Island."
She joined the world of local politics, as an Independent, on the then Sandown and Shanklin Urban District Council in 1971.
Cllr Humby has also served her constituents’ interests on the former South Wight Borough Council, once as mayor, and currently on Sandown Town Council, on which she served two spells as mayor.
Cllr Heather Humby.