A member of Watford Borough Council who retired this week has explained the reasons for her decision.

Councillor Sheila Smillie, former member for the Central ward, stepped down on Tuesday to begin a new life in Florida.

She said: “Last year my husband Cameron resigned from his job and since then has been looking for a new role within the sports sector.

“Cameron and I are now in America on an extended holiday and we have decided to stay for a while to see if things work out here.

“While my term of office as a councillor is not due to end until next May, I thought it would be wrong to remain on the council as an absentee councillor - which I would be allowed to do.”

In a message to residents she added: “It has been a true honour to serve you on the council and be involved with so many aspects of life in Watford... I have really enjoyed working with so many residents' groups and helping out many of you to solve everyday issues and I will certainly miss council life.”

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "Sheila made a very positive contribution to the town and was a hard working councillor.”