Andy Hill Relinquishes Leadership and Resigns from Council
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Photograph of Councillor Andrew HillCouncillor Andy Hill, Leader of South Ayrshire Council for more than five years, has resigned. As well as giving up the Leadership - which he has held since June 22, 2000 - Councillor Hill has also quit as the Councillor for the electoral ward of North Carrick and Maybole East. Councillor Hill's decision to resign was contained in a letter received by the Council's Chief Executive, Tom Cairns, which stated that it was “with immediate effect.” It was announced last night that Councillor David Duncan, Depute Leader of the Council, has taken over as Acting Leader.  Arrangements for the holding of a by-election will be a matter to be considered by the Chief Executive, as Returning Officer, during the next few days.

Said Councillor Duncan: “The sudden announcement by Councillor Hill of his resignation has come as a surprise to us, however having had the opportunity to personally discuss the matter with him, I fully understand and wish him well.” Concern for his health has been one of the main reasons behind Councillor Hill's decision. During the summer Councillor Hill underwent surgery on a knee, and he is known to have been under medication for some time for a medical condition.

Said Councillor Hill: “Several individual factors of varying degrees of importance have combined to influence and indeed to persuade me to take the decision which I have taken. “My own health, the pressure that the job of Leader entails and the consequent stress on my family are all matters which have been in my thoughts when coming to my decision.

“The major responsibilities which I have carried as Leader of the Council, the hours of duty, and the considerable travelling associated with my representing the Council on external organisations and bodies, have combined to put a tremendous pressure on my health.” Councillor Hill recalled: “I served as Depute Leader of the Council for one year, and when Councillor John Baillie stood down as Leader for reasons of pressure of business, I was invited to step in.

“I have relished the responsibility of Leader for the past five years since then, and have given total commitment to fulfilling the important role which I have carried out on behalf of the people of South Ayrshire. “Given that all Councils in Scotland, including South Ayrshire, have had to work within the financial limitations imposed by the Scottish Parliament, and that South Ayrshire has been required to make substantial savings of literally millions of pounds each year, I am stepping down in the knowledge that the Council, under my Leadership has delivered what was required as best as it possibly could.”

Continued Councillor Hill: “Whether it be the Council Tax level, or Council House rents, or the vast range of services the Council provides for the benefit of the people of South Ayrshire, I am aware of the prudent management which has been undertaken – and the true value for money which has been obtained for the benefit of the residents of South Ayrshire.

“I oversaw an extremely important phase of the Council's life, with a range of service reviews and management restructuring being concluded, not only to make financial savings, but to ensure the Council is geared up for the needs of the future. “I am proud to have played the role which I have done in bringing into place the planning and preparations for the implementation of a streamlined Council service for the future of the people of South Ayrshire.”

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Councillor Hill has spent most of his life living in Maybole, serving for the first three years of South Ayrshire Council's existence as Councillor for the Maybole electoral ward. In May, 1999, when the number of wards was increased, and the Maybole ward split, Councillor Hill was successfully elected to the then newly created North Carrick and Maybole East ward, and was successful returned as member for the same ward at the election on May 1, 2003.

Prior to South Ayrshire Council coming into being, Councillor Hill served on Strathclyde Regional Council, as Councillor for the Carrick Electoral Division. He was Vice Chair of the Regional Council's Divisional Development Committee for the Ayr Division, and also served on the Regional Council's General Purposes Committee and Social Work Committee.  ( November 2005 )