HE’S listened to and acted upon the needs of people in Portsmouth for 35 years.
Now Jim Patey has decided not to stand for re-election as councillor for Paulsgrove in 2014 because he wants to devote more time to his family.
The politician is also approaching 80 and wants to slow down.
And he has already started to take a back seat after he quit from his role as Labour Group leader after nine years at a meeting the party held earlier this month.
His fellow Paulsgrove councillor John Ferrett has been announced as his successor.
Mr Patey, 79, says the highlights of his career include eliminating some parking problems in Paulsgrove by introducing three resident parking schemes in the area.
He also helped to improve pedestrian access to the shops on Allaway Avenue by reducing the width of the road and widening the pavement.
He was a councillor for Fratton for 10 years before being elected in Paulsgrove in 1987 and was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth between 1992 and 1993.
Mr Patey, who moved to Portchester 12 years ago after living in Paulsgrove since the 1950s, said: ‘I feel the time is right to take a step back and allow new blood to come through.
‘The friendship and warmth that the people of Paulsgrove have shown me has been amazing.
‘I will continue to do all that I can over the next 17 months to continue to repay them for the faith they have shown in me. It’s time to start thinking about other things.
‘The job of group leader and councillor are demanding. People don’t realise how many hours you put in during the week.
‘I’m 80 next year and I felt I needed to slow down.
‘Being a politician doesn’t give you a great deal of time to focus on things in your personal life. I also want to spend more time with my wife Joy, 75, and our daughter Julie, 44.
‘I’ve given the party 17 months’ notice which will allow them to find a suitable candidate.’
Mr and Mrs Patey, who had their wedding reception at the former Hillside Youth and Community Centre, Paulsgrove, set up The Alzheimer’s Society’s Patey Day Centre, in Cosham, just over 20 years ago.
Mr Patey added: ‘I’ve seen Portsmouth as a whole change so much over the years and seen places like Port Solent and Gunwharf Quays being developed.’