A SOMERSET Council councillor has resigned so he can take up a job overseas.

Cllr Alex Wiltshire, of the ruling LibDem group, said he was stepping down as he no longer has the time to commit to the residents of Mendip South.

His leaving has sparked a by election to be held on Thursday, May 2.

Cllr Wiltshire said: "It was an honour to be elected by the residents of Mendip South to serve them on Somerset Council.

"Unfortunately, my personal circumstances have changed and the demands of the role while simultaneously holding a full-time job became ever more challenging.

"Following February's full council meeting, I have decided I no longer have the capacity to continue in the role and I have decided to embark on a new direction.

"I will shortly be commencing a new position overseas.

"I would like to thank my colleagues for their support over the last two years and I wish the best of luck to my successor."

Fellow LibDem Cllr Claire Sully paid tribute to her "wonderful ward partner in Mendip South since we won our seats in May 2022".

She added: "Alex was 29 when he was elected, and we have worked closely together on different ways of engaging communities.

"As I continue my political journey Alex will be someone who supports me I know.

"I love working in the area and seeing the good that can be done for people in our role.

"Although most people recognise the work we do as councillors, a minority do use the open nature of our work to be negative. At worse this can be harmful, including physical threats.

"I think if we do want more diverse people in local government. We need to make the culture around us better.

"In my political career I will always stand by this message of being kinder to each other as well as those in public office."