Senior Shetland councillor Gussie Angus has resigned suddenly as chairman of the powerful services committee.
The Lerwick South member told The Shetland Times his reason for going was purely personal and he did not wish to discuss it. The 70-year-old former social work depute director did confirm it was nothing to do with his health nor was there any “smoking gun” for reporters to discover.
He said he would be able to devote more time to matters in his ward and to his role as the local authority’s European spokesman. He does still intend standing as a councillor again in next year’s elections.
Mr Angus has endured personal flak during the school closure consultations, particularly over the decision to close the Scalloway secondary department. He has also seen senior colleagues, including the convener Sandy Cluness and vice-convener Josie Simpson, fail to support the schools service’s drive to cut schools with falling rolls.
However, he denied that the schools debate was a factor in his decision to step down.
But one of his colleagues said he believed Mr Angus was fed up with the undermining of the committee and the schools service by a disunited leadership and some key council staff.
He informed councillors of his decision by email this morning after the services committee had met. He thanked them for their support and co-operation throughout his tenure of office.
The council will have to elect a new chairman to the post. The current deputy is Betty Fullerton.