A veteran Accrington councillor has announced her plans to retire.
Wendy Dwyer, Peel Labour councillor and former chairman of Lancashire County Council (LCC), said she is to step down after a combined 23 years as a councillor on Hyndburn council and LCC, and will not be seeking re-election next year.
Coun Dwyer currently vice chairs the audit and licensing committees and sits on numerous committees outside the council, including the Homeless in Hyndburn Group.
She is also chairman of the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Parkinson’s Support Group, which she set up 10 years ago, and chairman of the Helping Hands charity, which helps improve the lives of hundreds of Accrington residents.
Coun Dwyer said she had enjoyed her time on Hyndburn council.
She said: “I’ve always been interested in the community and love meeting people. I’ve lived for more than 50 years in Accrington South and the people in Peel are wonderful.
“As a child my father was always telling me politics is important because it affects people’s lives. I was always involved with mock elections at school.
“I’m getting older now though and have other interests like my charity work.”
The lifelong dog-lover lives with her 15-year-old labrador cross-breed Eddie on Stanley Street in Accrington, where she has lived for more than 50 years.
She found Eddie at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, where she also helps out.
Coun Dwyer said: “Over the years I have taken many of the old dogs from there that no-one else will have, to make the last two or three years of their lives nice.”
Coun Dwyer is also a valued volunteer at the Credit Union in Accrington’s Market Hall.
Marilyn Procter, one of the Union’s directors, praised her contribution.
She said: “Wendy is a very community-orientated, knowledgeable and caring person.
“She is a highly valued member of our team and has always been very proactive in raising our profile on the council.”
Coun Dwyer will remain on the council until May 2016 when she will be replaced as Labour’s Peel candidate for the local elections by Paddy Short.
She said: “I’ll be sad to leave in a way but no matter how old you are, you can always do something different.”