Elaine Britten has resigned as Court ward councillor for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council because of ill health.

A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held on February 26.

Councillor Britten, a Lib Dem, was taken ill last summer while abroad, was then in hospital in the UK which was followed by an operation. There have been further visits to hospital during 2008.

She has written to people in her ward: “The past year has been really difficult for me.

"y work and personal circumstances have changed and I've had some serious health problems which are still unresolved.

" don't feel I can continue as your councillor and hope you will understand."

Councillor Julie Morris, leader of the Lib Dem Group, said: “We are really sorry to lose Elaine. She's been a champion of causes such as Horton Chapel and helped numerous residents with social and housing issues.”

Another by election is to be held in Ruxley ward to after the death of RA councillor Derek Phillips.