A COUNCILLOR has stepped down from office less than two years after being elected to the position.
Labour’s Gemma Taylor, pictured, was elected to serve Houghton ward in May 2013 when a by-election was triggered by the death of Coun Kath Rolph.
I have always put my ward firstGemma Taylor
Ms Taylor stood down earlier this month and today told the Echo she had made the decision after finding it difficult to balance the demands of being a councillor, a young mum and having a full-time job.
Juliana Heron, the wife of former mayor of Sunderland Bob Heron, is the Labour candidate for the vacant council seat.
Ms Taylor said: “I have recently returned to work after 12 months off on maternity leave.
“Being a young mother for the first time with a very demanding and busy full-time job as well as being a councillor was hard to juggle.
“I have always put my ward first.
“It has been a hard decision to relinquish my role as councillor but since returning to work from maternity leave, I would not be able to give the role 100 per cent any more and I feel the people of Houghton ward deserve a councillor who can give 100 per cent. It has been a privilege to represent Houghton Ward.
“I have enjoyed working on behalf of constituents and I hope that the constituents feel that I have made a contribution to the ward.
“I would like to thank the hard-working, dedicated council staff for all of their support during my time as a councillor.”
The election for the now vacant Houghton ward seat will be held as part of Sunderland City Council elections in May.
Candidates are expected to be confirmed by mid-April.