Liz Lynne, the Liberal Democrat Euro MP for the West Midlands, has announced she will be standing down from the European Parliament next February. She has represented the West Midlands area in Brussels and Strasbourg since 1999. Liz said she had thought very carefully about the decision but believed that after 12 and half years in the European Parliament it was the right time to make way for someone new. "Although I still find the work stimulating and worthwhile, the relentless travelling, particularly to and from Strasbourg, is onerous to say the least. Stepping down now will give my successor Phil Bennion enough time to bed down and make an effective contribution in the remaining two and half years before the next European elections."
Local Lib Dem councillor Ann Holtom said, while she fully understood Liz's reasons, she was sorry to see her stand down. Cllr Holtom said: "Liz has been a tireless campaigner for the West Midlands and its residents over the years. She has taken up countless issues on behalf of local people here from cutting red tape to boost local business, campaigning to save local post offices and fire stations and promoting regional food and drink produce across Europe. She fought continually to stop unnecessary meddling, bureaucracy and red tape but always stayed true to the European idea. I welcome the news that Phil Bennion who was the second Lib Dem on the ballot paper last time is to be our next Euro MP. Phil is a local farmer in Staffordshire and a member of the next-door local party to our own area so he will have a good deal of local knowledge and expertise to bring to his new role and that can only be good for our area. "