Rockingham deputy mayor Hayley Edwards will step down from her role at the October local government elections in a shock announcement. Taking to social media to inform the community, Ms Edwards said she made the decision “after consideration and reflection”. “I have decided to take a break and step away from my current responsibilities from 2023 October elections for a period of time,” she said. “With a pending election upon us, I feel it’s the most appropriate and transparent way to communicate my intentions.” The deputy mayor said while she had informed her colleagues “months ago”, it had “been hard to say it out loud”. “The decision not to renominate was not an easy one, but I believe it is necessary,” she said. The Baldivis ward councillor said she would be seeking time off with her family next year, which was why she decided she couldn’t renominate for her role “in good faith”. “I give everything I do 110 per cent, anyone who knows me knows that, so hopefully you understand my intent,” she said. Ms Edwards reflected on her time in local government, saying it was an “incredible journey” that would leave her with a sense of pride in what she and the council have accomplished. “During my time I have had the privilege of working with incredibly talented individuals, namely my Baldivis colleagues,” she said. “Together, we have accomplished great things and I am proud of what we have achieved. “Since I have been elected, we have increased transparency, accountability, a community elected mayor, improved communications and injected funding to our most vulnerable community members.” Ms Edwards was one of the driving forces behind Rough it 4 Rockingham, the city’s first rough sleepout event to raise money for homelessness in the community. The grassroots event in October last year saw 42 participants sleep rough for one night in Rockingham and raised $25,000 to go towards the local Salvation Army’s efforts to assist community members experiencing homelessness in the city. “Rockingham is home to aspiring, hard working, determined people; some of the stories locals have shared with me have changed my life,” she said. Several community members commented on the Facebook post offering their well-wishes, including mayor Deb Hamblin. “What can I say? So lucky to have you as my Deputy and part of our team,” Ms Hamblin said. “Love that you will be just taking a break … the City of Rockingham needs you … thank you for everything.” While Ms Edwards will no longer be on council after local elections, she encouraged locals to continue to reach out to their local representatives and “continue to pursue excellence, foster collaboration and embrace innovation”. Ms Edwards’ exit leaves Ms Hamblin searching for a new deputy and guarantees the Baldivis ward at least one new elected member, with fellow Baldivis ward member Sally Davies also up for re-election.