Leader of North Kesteven District Council Leader Councillor Marion Brighton OBE has resigned from the leadership of the council due to ill health, after more than 16 years in the role.
She also steps down from leadership of the Conservative Group at North Kesteven.
The resignation is effective from the next meeting of the council on March 9.
First elected in 1973 – in order to shape the emerging council which came into existence the following year – Councillor Brighton, now 87, has devoted more than half her life effective council operations and facilities.
Councillor Brighton was awarded the Local Government Information Unit’s Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2016 and has successfully defended 12 elections.
She has pioneered a range of initiatives, including: being one of the first to champion wheeled bins, building new council houses building, significant leisure investment when others were cutting back, a vast community arts outreach; and shaping and leading on a number of national policy initiatives for the benefit of rural areas.
Councillor Brighton said she owed the council a huge debt of gratitude for providing a focus in her life following her husband Brian’s death in 1982.
She said: “My husband thought it would be a nice little interest for me to be on the council, and how right he was.
“The more I have got into it, the more interesting it becomes; and that is still the case today as we respond to fresh challenges and seek to meet resident needs.”
The council will meet to elect a new Leader in the coming weeks.