Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne has announced she plans to stand down as Euro MP for the West Midlands Region (including Kidsgrove) in three months time.
Liz Lynne said she had thought about the decision carefully but 'the time is right' to move on after 12 and a half years representing the region in the European Parliament.
The Euro MP revealed her decision in her speech to the regional Lib Dem party conference at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on Saturday afternoon.
She said: "I have decided to stand down as MEP at the beginning of February. I have thought about this carefully and believe that the time is right. Although I still find the work stimulating and worthwhile, the relentless travelling particularly to and from Strasbourg is onerous to say the least.
"Stepping down now will also give my successor, Phil Bennion, enough time to bed down and make an effective contribution in the remaining two and and half years of this Parliament.
"The ongoing financial crisis across Europe means that the Liberal Democrat voice for reform and democracy will continue to be needed loud and clear.
"The third reason why it is the right time is that positions on the Parliament's committees change midway through the mandate.
"I am proud to have served as First Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. Giving up now however would give one of my Lib Dem MEP colleagues an opportunity to take a similar position for the rest of the mandate.
"I feel I have been able to achieve a lot over the last 12 and a half years as Euro MP for the West Midlands , fighting for equality and reform in the EU.
"Looking back, ensuring the Employment Directive outlawed workplace discrimination against disabled people or on grounds of age is particularly important to me.
"After Parliament backed my own initiative report on equal access to goods and services, the Commission agreed to bring in an Equal Treatment Directive to stop discrimination on all grounds including disability and age. It is still being held up by some countries but I hope it will go ahead.
"I am proud of my work in the healthcare field. I lobbied for many years to toughen safety laws to stop medical staff suffering a million needlestick injuries every year.
"Recently I won a long campaign to stop MRI scanners in hospitals from in effect being banned by the Electro Magnetic Fields Directive, completely unnecessarily. The Commission is now proposing to exempt MRI technology from the exposure limits.
"This year I was also delighted to win backing from both the Parliament and the Lib Dem conference for an EU wide code of conduct to stop the abuse of older people in long term care."
"I am not retiring but want to focus my politics in ways which do not involve quite so much travelling. I will continue to support the Liberal Democrat party in any way I can, I remain a strong supporter of Nick Clegg's leadership and his work in the coalition government."