A LONG-serving councillor who was once banned from the district council's offices has stepped down after over 40 years in local politics.

Clive Smith first joined the Malvern Hills Conservators in 1976 and remembers one of the board members wearing a World War One helmet at his first meeting.

Mr Smith, aged 67, was later elected to Malvern Hills District Council in 1979 and remained a councillor - apart from one break - until he lost his seat in 2015.

He gave up his place on the town council earlier this month after deciding to move out of Malvern.

Clive Smith, who now lives off Greenfields Road, in Upton, said: "Before I became a councillor I was on the board of the Conservators [now the Malvern Hills Trust].

"At the first meeting I attended Walter Marsh came in wearing a World War One helmet.

"He thought Ewart Ballard [another board member] might throw another ashtray at him.

"That was in 1976. Members could smoke in the chamber in those days."

Mr Smith said this marked the start of his life in local politics.

He said: "It was not without controversy. I got banned from the council offices at one point... but I got reinstated in the end.

"When I started I was an impetuous young man but a lot of people took me under their wing.

"I stepped down from the district council for one term and then made a comeback like Frank Sinatra.

"I would say to councillors, you can get away with all your pet projects as long as people get their bins emptied regularly.

"Also you must have people represented when it comes to planning applications."

Mr Smith was banned from the district council offices and had his e-mail account suspended by then chief executive Chris Bocock in 2014.

Cllr Smith said at the time the ban had arisen from an incident at a council meeting, when a question he had been due to ask had been disallowed.

Mr Bocock said that staff had been affected by Cllr Smith's behaviour, but declined to go into further detail.

Mr Smith joined Malvern Town Council in 2006 and also completed two terms on Worcestershire County Council.

He said it was an honour to represent voters and added that his proudest achievements were helping to bring Waitrose to the town and finding funding for Malvern Hills Science Park.