Angus Council’s opposition SNP group will contest the 2022 local government elections with a new leader.
Forfar councillor Lynne Devine has stepped down from the role with immediate effect following the group’s AGM.
She told colleagues she wanted to step aside as she won’t be standing for re-election in May.
Monifieth and Sidlaws councillor Beth Whiteside takes over as group leader following Monday’s development.
Montrose councillor Bill Duff and Brechin and Edzell member Kenny Braes are joint deputes.
Ms Devine’s decision means the leaders of both administration and opposition on the current council are not seeking re-election next May.
Arbroath Independent David Fairweather previously announced his intention not to stand in 2022.
Ms Devine, who has been the SNP group leader for the past four years said: “I think it’s really important that someone who is standing again should have the opportunity of being leader of the opposition for the next year to gain that experience.
“In terms of succession planning it certainly makes sense.”
At last week’s full council meeting she was unanimously backed for the role of the authority’s first Older People’s Champion.
Cllr Whiteside said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the role of group leader and I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support.
“The group has been privileged to have been led by Cllr Devine over the last four years.
“I thank her for the advice and encouragement she has given us all.
“I am sure that her knowledge and experience will be invaluable to me over the coming year.”
She added: “I do not underestimate the scale of the role I have taken on, and with this in mind I am thrilled with the decision to increase the leadership team to three.
“I offer my warm congratulations to the two depute leaders and look forward to working closely with them and the whole group as we move forward.”
Finance spokesman change
The SNP group announcement follows a ruling coalition finance convenership change.
Montrose Independent Mark Salmond takes over the role from Angus Macmillan Douglas.
Kirriemuir and Dean Conservative Mr Macmillan Douglas wants to reduce his council duties.
The 74-year-old will continue as deputy administration leader.