Ledbury's parish officer has resigned.

Mark Read will go on the beat for the last time on Saturday, May 29.

Mr Read, who is funded by the town council, will be leaving the job almost a year to the day since he was appointed.

He said: "I shall be sorry to go but I was working shifts every other weekend and the money is not good. I've struggled and spent my savings. But it's an important job and I've enjoyed every aspect of it."

Mr Read's background was in sales and marketing, with companies including Morgan. He has a new job helping with the visitors' centre and tours at Westons Cider, Much Marcle.

Mr Read said he was only on a temporary contract as parish officer and was looking for more job security.

News of his resignation was greeted with dismay by mayor Jayne Roberts, who said: "He's made an impact on Ledbury and I regret that he's going. It's a great pity."

Town clerk June McQuaid said police had indicated their wish to readvertise the post.

She said: "I hope he'll be replaced. Councillors were very supportive of the success of his role and I imagine they will want to carry on. Mark has been excellent."

The parish officer is administered by the police but paid for by the council.

Mr Read was a familiar figure on patrol and a driving force behind calls for Ledbury Youth Centre to be re-opened.