North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe is to stand down after nearly 18 years in the post.
The veteran Viewpark councillor revealed his decision at a meeting of the authority’s ruling Labour group last night.
It comes with the next council elections 15 months away and Labour facing a stiff task to hang on to power after the huge strides made by the SNP in last year’s General Election.
Councillor McCabe (75) has been a prominent member of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and a fierce critic of Westminster and Scottish Government cuts to council funding.
He was forced to step aside temporarily after heart surgery two years ago, but recovered well and is now making final plans for the council’s 2016/17 budget before quitting for good at the end of next month.