Former Angus Council leader David Fairweather has revealed he is stepping down from the authority within weeks.
The Arbroath Independent made the announcement at a Communities committee meeting on Tuesday.
He told fellow members via video in the hybrid meeting that he would be giving up the post of chair of Arbroath harbour board in light of his decision to leave local government.
His departure is not entirely unexpected.
In October, we broke the news the one time coalition chief was planning to retire.
At that time he let opposition colleagues know of his decision – but did not make any comment when asked about the plan.
He has now confirmed his final day as an elected member will be February 9.
Gratitude to officials and colleagues
On Tuesday he said: “I will be stepping down as the chair of the harbour board and that’s due to my imminent retirement.
“This will be my last meeting on communities.
“I have been on the harbour board for nearly 16 years and have thoroughly enjoyed it.”
He paid tribute to officials and colleagues he had worked with during that time.
Cllr Fairweather later added: “I am proud of how many people I have been able to help and support, also of the many projects I have helped deliver which includes the Arbroath Skatepark alongside the young and not so young with the unwavering backing of Gillian Low, who deservedly went on to be Citizen of the Year.
“My proudest moments came when the 2023 best value report was published as one of the best written for a council and my award as a Leader of the Year in 2022 from LGIU (Local Government Information Unit).”
Councillor since 2007
Mr Fairweather has been on the council since being elected to the Arbroath West and Letham Ward in May 2007.
He became part of an Angus Alliance which took control after years of SNP control in the county.
And in 2017, the outspoken figure became deputy leader when a coalition administration made a return to power.
He later resigned from the ruling group over what he branded the “bungled” handling of a skip sites review.
But Mr Fairweather then became leader after predecessor Bob Myles was axed in an internal coup.
His term as leader saw a number of controversies.
It included anger around the re-introduction of parking charges in the district after more than two decades.
The following year he said he would be stepping down from council life.
He told an aspiring young politician during a council meeting: “I was 50 when I went into politics, I will be 66 when I retire and it can’t come too soon.”
But he decided against the idea and voters returned him to the Arbroath West seat at the 2022 local elections.
As a close political ally of fellow Arbroath councillor Derek Wann, Mr Fairweather was at his side during a Standards Commission hearing into the ‘Lady Whistledown’ Twitter trolling affair.
Arbroath East and Lunan councillor Mr Wann was cleared by the inquiry of breaching the councillors’ code of conduct with the use of the anonymous social media account.
But Mr Fairweather took pride in achievements including a 2022 audit report praising the council and his role at the helm.
It said Angus had “made impressive improvements to services in recent years and benefits from effective leadership and a clear vision.”
Former Angus chief executive Margo Williamson also recently retired after 30 years in public service.
Kathryn Lindsay, previously head of children’s services and social work in Angus, has taken up the top role.