Inverurie and District councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes has resigned from his post as co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council.
He made the decision on Monday, August 29, and by resigning from the council he also leaves his post as chair of the Policy and Resources Committee.
His resignation will take effect from a meeting of the full council which is due to take place on September 29.
This date is when the report into the Billund investigation was originally scheduled to be tabled. In a statement, Cllr Kitts-Hayes said that he recognised his decision had “disrupted the smooth running of the council” and he said that he regretted any upset that he may have caused.
He added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Provost Vernal and Cllrs Thomson and Evison over the past 15 months and will continue to support them.
“I do not intend to make any further comment on the matter.”
Fellow Co-Leader Cllr Richard Thomson said: “I believe that the decision to step down was the correct one under the circumstances, and that this timescale - which Cllr Kitts-Hayes agreed to at the request of Aberdeenshire’s Partnership Administration - is in the best interests of the continued smooth running of the council.
“Dealing with this on September 29 will allow council officers, in the normal course, to present a report to full council at which councillors will be invited to replace the Chair of Policy and Resources and to consider the local authority’s political leadership arrangements.
This will allow the matter to be considered at a measured pace and in a fully transparent manner, enjoying the public notification and advance warning that the legislation and standing orders provide.
“This timescale is entirely in line with the motion proposed by Councillors Jim Gifford and Karen Clark themselves in June, in which the chief executive was instructed to bring the report on Billund to the meeting of council scheduled for September 29.
“Clearly, a reshuffle of positions and responsibilities is now needed within the administration.
‘‘We will now begin the necessary processes within the administration to allow that to happen and will present any changes that we seek to make to the full council meeting on September 29.”
Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Savege, said: “I can confirm that I have received the resignation from Martin Kitts-Hayes as an Aberdeenshire councillor.
“His resignation is with immediate effect. Martin has served as a councillor for Inverurie & District since May 2003, having previously been an employee of the council.”