Council leader to retire after 23 years in role

The leader of East Riding of Yorkshire will step aside next year and allow someone else to pick up the reins.
The leader of East Riding of Yorkshire will step aside next year and allow someone else to pick up the reins.

The leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council has revealed he will not be seeking re-election in the 2019 elections.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby, longest-serving council leader in Yorkshire, said: “The time is right to move on.”

Cllr Parnaby will have been the East Riding’s leader for 23 years by May 2019 and previously was the leader of Beverley Borough Council from 1991 until it was abolished in a local government re-organisation in 1996. He was awarded the OBE for his services to local government in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2008.

Cllr Parnaby 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; 40 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.”