OXFORD City Council's leader Councillor Bob Price will not stand for re-election next May, the Oxford Mail can reveal.

Mr Price has been council leader since 2008 and a councillor for 34 years.

He said: “As I reach my three score years and ten next May, I have decided not to seek re-election for a further term as a member of the City Council.

“After 35 years representing my local community in Grandpont, New Hinksey and St Ebbes, and 12 years as the leader of the Labour group, it feels like a good moment for a change of pace.

“If I am averagely lucky, I hope to be able to find more time over the next decade doing more of the many things that I enjoy, but which have had to be squeezed in between City Council commitments in recent years.”

A Labour Party selection meeting to pick another candidate for his Hinksey Park ward for the local elections next May was held at the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford on Tuesday night.

It is understood Alex Donnelly, a veteran who works at Oxford University, was picked to contest Mr Price’s seat.

Oxford City Council deputy leader Ed Turner said: “Bob is a brilliant city council leader. At the point Bob stops being leader there will be very big shoes to fill.

“I know Bob is totally committed to serving for as long as he is able to and, my goodness, he has given his all for a very long time.”