A FORMER mayor and councillor for many years has stepped down due to ill health and thanked the public for their support.

Councillor for Corby, Hayton and Wetheral William Graham stepped down from his role on Tuesday.

He said that it was an emotional moment: “I haven’t been well and it was just getting too much.”

Mr Graham was most recently a Cumbria County Councillor for eight years but served on Hayton Parish Council for 40 years and Carlisle City Council for 20 years.

When asked what his proudest moments were as a councillor, Mr Graham said: “Getting a speed camera brought in at Corby Hill.

“It goes through the villages and it goes passed the school. I got a speed gun and we managed to get a speed camera.”

He was Mayor of Carlisle from 2009 to 2010 and another of his proudest moments was raising thousands for Eden Valley Hospice.

“With the Mayor’s Charity we raised over £30,000 and £20,000 went to the hospice.”

Mr Graham enjoyed the year serving as Carlisle’s mayor.

Giving the portion of funds to the children’s hospice service was particularly important to Mr Graham.

“Anybody that goes there and says it doesn’t move them, there’s something wrong. My wife went and she said she couldn’t believe it.

The councillor has seen big changes in the Carlisle constituency during his service with around 300 homes built in the Corby area beside the A69.

“I know we had to move with the times but what I didn’t like is the fact that most of the houses have been built on the opposite side of the road to the school.”

Mr Graham always stood as an independent.

“My predecessor Bob Tiffin, he was always independent. I think you’re better serving the people as an independent” he said.

“Otherwise you have to toe the line with a political party, Conservative or Labour.”

Mr Graham was keen to thank the public as he stepped down after a long career of service to the area.

“I would like to thank all my constituents for their support over the years.

He initially planned to step down when the elections took place in May but carried on to finish his service to the community the right way.

Mr Graham said: “I didn’t want to just leave and say nothing.”

Mr Graham added that staff of Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council will be missed as he moves on.

“I’d like to thank everybody for their help and support.”

He added that he has enjoyed working with his colleagues from different wards in the area.

Mr Graham has carried the torch for his constituents since first becoming a parish councillor in his forties, at the age of 80 he has taken a step back.