A YOUNG councillor who has been seriously ill has been granted special leave of absence from the council until May.

Irvine West councillor Shaun Macaulay, 26, was in intensive care but is now out of hospital.

The SNP deputy leader for North Ayrshire has been unable to attend meetings since May.

SNP group leader Marie Burns said: “He has had a serious illness but is now out of hospital and is on the mend.

“I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Councillors voted to grant permission for the Irvine West member to be off for more than six months so he can recover.

North Ayrshire chief executive Elma Murray proposed him discretionary leave up until May next year.

Speaking at last week’s North Ayrshire Council meeting, she said: “Members will be aware that Councillor Macaulay has been extremely ill over the last few months.

“We want to give Councillor Macaulay plenty of time to recover without being concerned about his position in the council.”

Councillors who fail to attend meetings and committees for six months automatically cease to be an elected member unless they get signed off by the council.

Councillor Macaulay was elected in 2017 and is the Youth Champion for the local authority.

He took over the reins as deputy SNP leader from Councillor Alan Hill earlier this year.

A report submitted to the meeting said: “The period of time likely to be needed for his recovery is such that Councillor Macaulay’s absence risks exceeding the six months provided for in Standing Orders.

“In the circumstances, the council is asked to apply appropriate discretion to allow Councillor Macaulay to remain as an elected member.”