KILWINNING SNP Councillor John Ferguson has decided to step down and will not be contesting May’s North Ayrshire Council election.

The councillor is Vice-Chair of NAC’s Planning Committee and represents the council on a number of outside bodies including the Safer North Ayrshire Partnership and Ayrshire Educational Trust.

He was chair of the council’s Kilwinning Area Committee for nine years, and was for a time portfolio holder for Environment and Infrastructure within North Ayrshire’s Cabinet.

Cllr Ferguson said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the people of Kilwinning for the last 10 years and to advise and assist constituents with their problems.

“Until May, I intend to play a full part in the work of the Council and the SNP Group, and to campaign for the election of as many SNP councillors as possible and the return of a capable and effective SNP administration at North Ayrshire Council.

“I wish my successors well.”

SNP group leader Councillor Marie Burns said: “John has been a stalwart of the Council and he will be sorely missed.

"His wisdom and experience have been invaluable. However he’s not the kind of person to take a back seat and I know he will still be helping us whenever he can.”