Councillors who expected to be stepping down at the end of April say they will serve another year – out of a sense of duty.

At least four members of Swindon Borough Council whose four-year terms close in May were not seeking re-election – Bob Wright (Lab)in Central Ward, Fay Howard (Lab) in Liden, Elden and Park South, Mark Dempsey (Lab) in Penhill and Upper Stratton and Vera Tomlinson (Con), who represents St Andrew’s.

The elections scheduled for May 7 were an early victim of the coronavirus pandemic and have been postponed until 2021.

But rather than being disappointed, the councillors said they would be willing to serve to try and help Swindon recover from the effects of the crisis.

Coun Wright, who has been a councillor for 14 years, had plans including travel and work with the Mechanics’ Institute Trust.

He said: “I’ve said I’ll carry on, as long as I can still go on my holiday, although that would be impossible at the moment anyway so it doesn’t make any difference.

“I’m already on the Heritage Action Zone committee and I have joined the Mechanic’s Trust and I was looking forward to working with them on that, so I wasn’t entirely stopping work in the community.

“I will carry on for another year now.”

The longest-serving councillor not seeking re-election is Coun Tomlinson, who is chairman of the licensing committee and sits on the planning committee.

She said: “I will carry on as well, and be glad to do so, although whether I stay on as chair of the licensing committee is a matter for the council leader.

“I think there will be a job to do as councillors after the crisis has finished, and I will certainly be glad to play my part. We all have to play our part now by following the government advice and staying at home.”

That sentiment was shared by Coun Dempsey, who was expecting to give up his seat after 10 years as a councillor to make room for work and increased family commitments.

He said: “I got married two years ago and we are hoping to have a family, and I wanted to be able to have enough time for my work and family .

“I shall be staying on for another year and will give the job my all – the problems of local councillors are the least of anyone’s worries right now. There will be work to do to help people in my ward and across Swindon after this is over, and will serve another year.”

Coun Howard, who has served since 2017, said: “I am due to become a grandmother in a few days, and was looking forward to seeing my first grandchild, but I can’t do that now.

“I was a bit shocked when I hear the election was cancelled, but I will do another year, I’ll just carry on juggling all the balls, and fit in being a grandmother. I’m reassured that because I have some experience I’ll be able to help my ward when all this is over.”

Elections for 19 councillors will be held on May 6 next year, which was due to be the fallow year in Swindon’s election cycle.