The leader of South Northamptonshire Council has announced she will step down as head of the authority at next month’s election.
Councillor Mary Clarke who has been the council’s Conservative leader for the last five years has served on the Old Stratford ward for 16 years.
But this week she has taken the decision to stand down after the completion of her term.
In a statement released today, she said: “I am confident that I leave the authority better prepared to face the challenges ahead.
“Serving as council leader has been a great honour and something that I will always be proud to look back on.
“I am indebted to the public for electing me to the council and to the members for electing and supporting me as leader.”
In 2010, under Councillor Clarke’s leadership South Northamptonshire Council agreed to joint working with neighbouring Cherwell District.
She also served as a director of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation and the West Northants Joint Strategic Planning Committee, which she chaired for a year.
She is also a Director of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), a role she will maintain in a private sector capacity.
Chief executive of South Northamptonshire Council, Sue Smith, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Mary during my time here and I wish her well in the future.
“I know that I shall continue to see her as she has recently been appointed as a private sector SEMLEP board member so I am delighted that she will still be able to make a valuable input into the economic success of the area.”