Former Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop will not stand in next month’s local elections, it has been announced.
The Conservative councillor spent more than five years as leader up until his resignation in 2015 as part of 13 years of service on the council.
Mr Yallop’s announcement on social media came as lists of candidates were announced for the 11 wards holding polls on May 2.
Statements of persons nominated confirmed the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats would contest all 11 wards, with Greens seeking election in nine and UKIP seven.
But they also revealed Tory councillor for Heene, Josh High, will be standing against his former party as an Independent.
Confirming his intention to stand down, Mr Yallop said working full-time since 2015 had made focusing on council duties difficult.
He said: “Being unable to commit sufficient time to the council has recently caused me to become increasingly frustrated.
“Therefore, after careful consideration I have decided not to defend my seat in Marine ward this year.”
The news triggered reactions from current and former Tory councillors, as well as town centre manager Sharon Clarke.
Mr Yallop played a leading role in bringing town centre car parks back under council control following years of operation by NCP.
Businesses joined residents in petitioning for change, with widespread anger over costly parking tariffs.
Commenting on his announcement, Mrs Clarke said: “You’ll be missed Paul...you were a wonderful leader and a huge thanks for all you did for Worthing.”
Elsewhere, two other councillors will not seek re-election.
Long-serving councillor Tom Wye will not stand again in Tarring, while Clive Roberts was missing from the Central ward candidates list.
Central ward will instead be contested by other familiar faces. Former mayor Christine Brown is the Lib Dem candidate, while ex-Tory cabinet member Diane Guest – who lost her Heene seat to Labour last year – is the Conservative’s choice.
The Green Party’s Jo Paul and Labour’s Sally Smith complete the Central list, with the latter hoping to replicate the landslide victory of her party colleague, Jim Deen, last year.
The current makeup of the council is listed on the authority’s website as being 28 Tories, five Labour, two Lib Dems, one Independent and one UKIP.
But that tally includes Josh High as a Conservative.
Mr High declined to comment on standing as an Independent at this stage, other than to confirm he had resigned from the party.
Click here for a full list of candidates. Elections will not take place for Northbrook and Durrington wards this year.
All 11 seats up for grabs are currently held by Tories.