Lincoln West County Councillor Rob Parker, leader of the Labour Group of councillors on Lincolnshire County Council, has stood down from his role as leader after 22 years.
Councillor Parker said: “Over recent months I have found it increasingly difficult to balance council duties as a political leader with my academic work and still have a private life. In future I will have a less prominent role within the Labour Group.”
Rob Parker told the other 11 members of the group that he was not putting his name forward for re-election at the annual meeting of the Labour Group on Saturday.
He will retain his seat as Lincoln West County Councillor, which he held after the May 2 local elections, where Labour won a total of 12 in the county.
Councillor John Hough (Louth South), Deputy Leader for the past eight years, was unanimously elected as the new Labour Group Leader.
It was unanimously agreed by the group that Councillor Parker be appointed as the Deputy Leader.
Rob Parker said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 22 years as Labour Group Leader. I have had the privilege of working with some outstanding Labour councillors in putting forward Labour policies.
“I had the honour of serving as leader of the county council between 1993 and 1997. The Labour-led county council had some pretty impressive achievements including the opening of the University of Lincoln, the construction of a major road bridge in Lincoln and the major expansion of nursery education across the county.
“When in opposition we have always sought to hold those in political control to scrutiny. A particularly difficult time was during the Speechley era when Labour councillors were amongst those who exposed wrong doing.”
Rob Parker and local government
Rob Parker was first elected to the County Council in 1989 for what was then Lincoln Carholme but is now Lincoln West. He retained his seat at elections in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013.
He was elected Labour Group Leader in 1991. Between 1993 and 1997 he was Leader of Lincolnshire County Council.