This May's election vote will be a triple-threat special in Kingston as two councillors step down, triggering byelections.

Liberal Democrats Vicki Harris and Stephen Brister will step down from Tolworth and Hook Rise and Grove wards, respectively.

Mrs Harris, who was first elected to Kingston Council in 1994, said: "The time has come for me to go. We can get some new, young blood in."

She added: "I had stood for election four years before that, in the old Tolworth East ward, and lost by two votes. That gave me the impetus to think, 'I want to do this again.'

"[I stood over] a planning issue, believe it or not. They wanted to build houses at the bottom of my garden.

"We had just started neighbourhoods, so it was all a new way of doing things. Working so closely with residents was great.

"Casework is so rewarding - for me that's what an awful lot of being a councillor has been about. I will miss that."

Mrs Harris, a scourge of tone-deaf property developers and inattentive writers of council reports, counts among her favourite achievements the creation of the Jubilee Way Playscape playground and Tolworth's greenway.

She said: "It's controversial, I know. The reason I'm so proud of it, is it has opened up Tolworth Broadway and made it a much nicer place to be."

A third proud achievement was the closing of the old Herne Road rat-run, she said, when councillors "did the right thing for the residents" in the face of vociferous opposition.

Mr Brister, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said work commitments meant he could no longer fulfil his responsibilities on the council.

He said he was attracted to politics by his party's work on recycling and green issues, and that "it was natural for me to want to keep it that way".

During his time on the council's licensing sub-committee Coun Brister oversaw cases like the controversial Essence nightclub hearing, which was closed down after a marathon 11-hour hearing last year.

First elected to Norbiton ward in 2010, Coun Brister said he was particularly pleased to be able to help people displaced by the 2011 Madingley fire.

Recently Coun Brister has come under fire for low attendance of council meetings, which he attributed to his increasing workload away from politics.