NORTON councillor Elizabeth Shields will stand in the Ryedale district elections in May, she has announced.

The Liberal Democrat councillor, a stalwart of local politics who has served on the authority for nearly 40 years and was briefly the area’s MP in 1986, revealed she would be standing again in the Norton East ward at a meeting of full council on Thursday. “I love Norton too much to stand down now,” she said.

In doing so she added her name to a growing number of councillors who have declared their intentions for the forthcoming poll.

In addition to the formation of a new party, Ryedale First, the district council is also set to lose Cllr Luke Ives, chairman of the policy and resources committee, who has said he won’t be standing again.