'I had to prioritise my health' - councillor stands down due to long Covid

Lisa Ingwall King (right) is standing down as a councillor due to long Covid

Lisa Ingwall King (right) is reluctantly standing down as a councillor on West Suffolk Council due to long Covid. Julia Wakelam (left) is standing for election in her place - Credit: Oliver Ingwall King

A mother-of-two has spoken of her sadness at having to give up her role as a district councillor in Bury St Edmunds due to the continuing effect of long Covid.

Lisa Ingwall King, a West Suffolk Councillor for Abbeygate in Bury St Edmunds, has announced she is stepping down.

Dr Ingwall King, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, had pneumonia followed by Covid-19 in spring last year and is still suffering with the debilitating effects of coronavirus.

The 43-year-old said she was "passionate" about her role as a district councillor in the town, but is having to prioritise her health.

She said: "I am suffering from a range of symptoms including fatigue, which makes work very difficult, let alone councillor responsibilities, particularly with the addition of family life.


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“I have tried hard to do my councillor role to the best of my ability, despite being ill during the last year, but I now have to admit what the doctor and others have been telling me: I must prioritise my health."

Lisa Ingwall King, who was a councillor for Abbeygate in Bury St Edmunds, got Covid in spring last year

Lisa Ingwall King, who was a councillor for Abbeygate in Bury St Edmunds, got Covid in spring last year and is still recovering - Credit: Oliver Ingwall King

Dr Ingwall King, who is married to Oliver, is mum to Scarlett, three, and Arn, six.

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She said family life had definitely been "challenging" due to the impact of Covid, but added: "I think it helps to look at what you have rather than looking at what you don't have in these situations.

"I have a fantastic family. Yes, they take a lot of energy, but they bring us so much joy and laughter."

As well as the fatigue, Dr Ingwall King said she has been suffering with cognitive difficulties as a result of Covid, including a lack of concentration and focus.

She is managing to do a few hours a day in her job as a researcher for the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

She said she had been taking active steps to get better and praised the support from her doctors, Swan Surgery in Bury St Edmunds.

She added: "I have really appreciated the understanding and kind support shown to me by council officers and other councillors during the past few months and I want to send a big thank you to everyone for this.

"This is not a decision I wanted to take, but I need to be fair to the residents in Abbeygate ward. I have truly enjoyed the privilege of being a councillor in West Suffolk, and this decision saddens me a great deal."

First-time candidate Lisa Ingwall King, for the Green Party, trumped all the other candidates for th

First-time candidate Lisa Ingwall King, for the Green Party, trumped all the other candidates for the Abbeygate ward in Bury St Edmunds with 628 votes in 2019 - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

Dr Ingwall King was a first-time candidate when she was elected as a councillor in 2019, standing for the Green Party.

She said she is comforted to know that Julia Wakelam, who was a borough councillor until 2019, has agreed to stand for election in her place.

"I know she will wholeheartedly represent Abbeygate residents and uphold the Green values I have sought to maintain during my time as Councillor," she added.

Ms Wakelam said: “Covid-19 has taken the lives of more than 125,000 people and devastated the lives of so many more.

"I am so very sorry that it has another victim. Lisa has been a fantastic councillor and will be very much missed.

"If elected, I will work hard for the residents of Abbeygate and do my best to ensure that the Green agenda, which West Suffolk has signed up to in its Climate Change Task Force, is actually delivered and is at the heart of its new Local Plan."

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