The borough will face its fifth by-election in less than a year after a Lib Dem councillor announced his resignation.

Kingston councillor Marc Woodall, who received over 2,000 votes at May 2010 elections, stepped down on Friday, May 25, to take up a politically restricted post at Surrey County Council.

Mr Woodall has been promoted to a position where he must advise on politically sensitive issues, which means he can no longer be a councillor under strict civil service rules.

The former councillor, who chaired Kingston planning committee, said he has had mixed emotions about leaving the post as it has been a privilege to serve the people of Kingston.

He said: "The people of Grove Ward put their faith in me at the last elections and I would like to think that that I have represented them relatively well.

"Unfortunately with full time work there is a commitment. If there had been any other way I would have loved to have stayed but with the job market as it is these days I felt I had no alternative."

Council leader Derek Osbourne said he was very sad to see a young passionate and dedicated councillor leave the council.

He said: "He was a really credit not just to the Liberal Democrats but to Kingston.

"His work particular on environmental issues was particular helpful and he will be missed by all those that worked with him.”

Surbiton Hill coun Umesh Parekh, who left in August 2011 to take up a job with Friends of the Earth, was followed out of Kingston Council by two Conservatives, Robert John Tasker and the late James White, sparking a double by election in Coombe Vale, New Malden.

In neighbouring Coombe Hill, one time council leader, Coun David Edwards, an elected member for 35 years, stepped down in March this year to battle cancer.

On Mr Woodall’s decision to force yet another by-election, Mr Osbourne said: "It is strange because I don't think we have had five by-elections in the last 10 years prior to this year.

"The younger guys Marc, Umesh and Robert were at the beginning of their career. These are the people we want but you can’t for putting a career and family first.

"Sadly being a councillor in Kingston does not pay very well."

The by-election will take place on July 5 this year.