THE head of Moray Council has announced he will not stand for re-election when Scotland goes to the polls in May.
George McIntyre helmed the local authority through some of its toughest times, including the 10-month period when uncertainty loomed over the future of the area’s RAF bases.
Preparing to hand back his chains of office, the Independent councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde described his five years as leader as ‘tough, but very rewarding’.
"Clearly, it has been a great privilege and an honour for me to serve the people of Moray and also to serve the area at home and indeed abroad," he said.
With the exception of Orkney, Moray is understood to be the only local authority in Scotland which does not have a separate civic head and political leader.
"I really think that is something that needs to be looked at for the future," Councillor McIntyre said, thanking his depute Allan Wright for the support which enabled him to juggle both roles.
First elected in 2003, Councillor McIntyre (64) got his first up-close glimpse of the runnings of local government under Eddie Coutts’ administration, serving as deputy chair of the community services committee.
In 2007, he was re-elected and formed an Independent/Conservative administration, flanked by Councillor Wright.
For more on this story, see this week's 'Northern Scot'