In a shock announcement, Councillor Luke Ives, who is currently co-leader of the Conservative Group, has decided not to seek re-election when Ryedale goes to the polls in three months’ time.
As chairman of Ryedale’s main committee, Policy and Resources, and co-leader of the Conservative Group, his decision will spark a leadership contest after May’s election and could have big implications on the future of the council.
Cllr Ives, who’s head of strategy for Malton-based Orbit Services, said he is stepping down due to work commitments.
He said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as a councillor for the past eight years.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to stand down as it has been a pleasure to represent the people of Norton West.
“Highlights include leading the campaign against an asphalt plant with Norton Action Group, and more recently, voting to save the local Swimming Clubs.”