Toby steps down after five years

TOBY Savage, who has led South Gloucestershire Council for five years, has stepped down.

Mr Savage has represented the Longwell Green ward since 2015 but decided not to stand at this month’s elections following the birth of his second child, Dorothy.

The Conservative group on the council will choose a new leader immediately after the polls on May 4.

Mr Savage said his decision followed his “promotion to dad-of-two”.

He said: “I have been council leader for just under five years, and it has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the area in which I was born and brought up.

“These past years have been unprecedented and exhausting. We have led the local responses to a global pandemic, a war and a worldwide cost of living crisis. But we have also stayed true to the promises we were elected on four years ago.

“Throughout all of this I have been honoured to work with extraordinary people both inside and outside the council, who serve local people with dedication and distinction.”

He added: “During my first three years as council leader, I was in the fortunate position of being able to throw myself entirely into my passion for public service. That changed in 2021 with the birth of my son Laurie, now aged two, and then again with the arrival of my daughter Dorothy last month.

“I have realised how precious these first few years are and I am excited about having more time to dedicate to my growing family. 

“I wish my successor all the very best. I have been deeply honoured to have spent the last five years in public service and I hope to return to it one day in the future.”