TWO Lib Dem councillors will retire from their posts next month.
At a council meeting on July 9, husband and wife Cllrs Amanda and Denzil Coulson – who respectively represent the wards of Goldsworth East and Goldsworth West – announced that they would be stepping down from office on August 18 to take up teaching positions in Abu Dhabi.
The departure of the duo will dictate two by-elections, likely to be held on October 8.
Amanda was elected in 2011, while Denzil was backed by local voters in 2006. Cllr Will Forster, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in Woking, said the pair would be sorely missed.
He said: “They were great friends, hard working and made a very positive contribution to the work of our group and to the work of the council.
“During his time on the council, Denzil was a strong ambassador for Goldsworth West, he served as Chairman of the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee and was a former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.
“Amanda (right) was also a fine champion of her ward. She was particularly involved in the Lakeview area and was a key voice in securing the construction of the new Lakeview Community Centre. They will be sadly missed.”
Speaking to the News & Mail from South Africa, the Coulsons said: “It has been an immense privilege to serve residents and we hope that we have managed to make a difference in some people’s lives.
“We will miss Woking but we are not breaking ties completely as we still have a home here.
“We wish our successors all the very best in looking after residents’ concerns. We will miss all the times when we were able to solve problems and serve the community. ”
So often a political rival, Conservative Council Leader John Kingsbury also wished the pair well.
He said: “I will miss debating with them in the Council Chamber.”