Councillor Ashay Ghai has announced that he will be standing down from East Dunbartonshire Council at the local government elections next May.
Councillor Ghai, who is stepping down for personal reasons, was first elected to the council for the Liberal Democrats in 2009, winning a by-election in Bearsden South following the resignation of Conservative Councillor Simon Hutchison.
He was re-elected to the council in 2012 representing the Bearsden North area. Councillor Ghai served as deputy leader of the council from May 2012 until earlier this year, when he resigned from his post alongside his Lib Dem colleagues, and has led the Liberal Democrat Group for the past six years.
Councillor Ghai said: “It’s been a privilege to serve on the council representing Bearsden and I have found it to be a hugely rewarding experience.
“Having thought about it a lot though, next year is the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else the opportunity.
“Over the last few years I’ve wholly committed to the role, working as a full time councillor, and now want to seek new career challenges while I’m still young enough.
“This is a purely personal decision and I have already discussed it with my fellow Liberal Democrat councillors and local party officials who can now move forward in seeking a new candidate. I will continue to work hard in the role for my remaining time in office.
“As the first black/minority ethnic community member elected to public service in East Dunbartonshire I hope I have broken down some barriers and made it easier for other people from different backgrounds to become candidates and get elected.”