Less than 24 hours after he made the announcement that Bridlington's marina project has hit the rocks, the leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council has revealed he will not continue in his role after 2019.
Cllr Stephen Parnaby, the longest-serving council leader in Yorkshire, has confirmed he will not be seeking re-election in the 2019 elections, saying: “The time is right to move on.”
He was awarded the OBE for his services to local government in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2008 and said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the residents of the East Riding and particularly in the position as leader of the council.
“I was first elected in 1979 with only an ambition to do my best. I believe I have done that and now is the right time to move on. Forty years in local government is a long time.
“I will be 68 years old in 2019 and if I was elected again I would be 72 by the end of that term. It’s right that I step aside and allow someone else to pick up the reins.
“I have had the pleasure of working with some very talented people both at member and officer level. My task now is to work with my deputy Cllr Jonathan Owen and the council’s chief executive Caroline Lacey, along with other councillors and officers, to allow for a smooth transition.
“The East Riding has been particularly successful and is well respected in national and local government, something of which I am very proud. I want that to continue and will work hard to ensure it does.”
Up until recently Councillor Parnaby ran his own business alongside his council commitments.
He added: “Like all members, I have a life outside of the council. I have always been involved in business but at the unusually young age of 28 I decided I wanted to serve the public at a local level. I never envisaged it would last this long, nor did I expect to have the honour of being the leader of one of the largest unitary authorities in the country.
“I expect the next year to be one of the busiest yet. There will be so much to do and above all I need to recognise and thank all the people who have supported me and without whom none of my achievements would have been possible.”