AFTER four years in the role, an Isle of Wight Mayor will step down in May.

Cllr Michael Lilley, Mayor of Ryde, says the time is right for someone else to take over.

Cllr Lilley was elected into the role in 2019, three years after joining Ryde Town Council (RTC), representing the Ryde Appley and Elmfield ward.

Announcing his resignation last night (Monday), at a RTC meeting, he said he had only intended to serve two years but with transformational staff changes, Covid-19 lockdowns and the cost of living crisis, he felt it was important for Ryde to have stability of leadership.

The town council is now in a really different place than it was four years ago, Cllr Lilley said, with the aid of a skilled professional team behind it.

RTC is the Island's second largest authority, behind the Isle of Wight Council, and is faced with austerity and cuts, said Cllr Lilley.

In his time as Mayor, RTC has responded to government funding cuts which led to it providing the Network Ryde youth service.

Plans to help the town move forward and achieve more have also been developed.

Among his goals before he steps down is to secure a better working relationship between RTC and the Isle of Wight Council.

Cllr Lilley will remain on the town council as a councillor and a new mayor will be voted in at RTC's annual meeting in May.