The Deputy Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, has said it has been “nothing short of a privilege” to serve his community as he announces his intention to stand down next month for personal reasons.

Cllr Jon Hunt, who represents the people of Frenchay and Downend as well as serving as the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, has said he will be stepping down after nine years on the council following his recent completion of treatment that concludes his successful 14-month battle with stage 4 liver and bowel cancer.

He will also shortly begin a new career in the public sector.

As Deputy Leader, Cllr Hunt acted in the stead of the Leader, Cllr Toby Savage.

During the Brexit process, he oversaw work to normalise the local impact of leaving the European Union and, more recently, following the outbreak of Covid-19 took charge of the council’s work with the growing Community Support and Volunteer Network responding to the crisis.

He also joined Cllr Savage in a gruelling two-day bike ride last year to visit all schools in South Gloucestershire to raise awareness for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

In his Cabinet role for Children’s Services, Cllr Hunt was responsible for bringing the department out of Special Measures, towards a Good Ofsted rating, and oversaw an expansion of youth services, working with local partner organisations.

His vision for innovation and improved services for care leavers also led to the creation of the Woodleaze supporting living project in Yate which, when opened later this year, will house young people aged from 16-25.

Cllr Jon Huntsaid: “Having the opportunity to serve my community and help make a difference for people in their everyday lives has been nothing short of a privilege and I am proud of what I and my fellow Conservatives have been able to achieve during my time on the council. I want to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, particularly during my fight with cancer, it has meant the world.

“Having recently come to the end of my treatment, now feels the right time to move onto a new chapter of my life. I am excited by a move to the public sector even though it sadly means I have to withdraw from local politics, but my priority has to be to provide for my family. I will continue to wholeheartedly support my colleagues led by Toby, but more so in spirit than in person.

“South Gloucestershire remains a great place to live and work and I want to recognise everyone at the council; the officers, my fellow Councillors and the Cabinet, for the important role they play. Being a local councillor is a big responsibility but also a great honour and I hope the council continues to adapt to make that opportunity more accessible to local people wanting to make a difference.”

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, added: “Working with Jon on the council has been a real privilege. He has become a close personal friend and been an excellent Deputy, someone I can rely on for sound advice and support and has served the council with distinction, so it is going to be a sad day when he formally steps down.

“Despite his battle with cancer over the past year, he was never distracted from his responsibilities – even when he was being advised to. His tireless efforts to deliver for his local residents, for the children and young people entering and leaving the care system, and South Gloucestershire as a whole has been nothing short of outstanding.

“On behalf of South Gloucestershire Council and the Conservative Group, we all wish him the best of luck as he takes his life in an entirely understandable new direction. He will be missed by many but I have no doubt that he will still remain a strong voice within his community.”