Newcastle-under-Lyme Council leader stepping down
The leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has announced he will step down from his role following the May local government elections.
Simon Tagg, who has been leader of the borough council for five years, is also resigning as leader of the council's Conservative group.
Mr Tagg said he was stepping down for "personal reasons".
He said he had informed party colleagues and the Liberal Democrat group which co-runs the council.
He added: "Over the last few months I have been reviewing my personal situation and future plans and I have decided not to put my name forward for the leadership of the Conservative group following the local elections in May.
"I would like to confirm that I shall be seeking re-election as a borough councillor for the May Bank Ward in the forthcoming elections.
"I shall also continue to be a Staffordshire county councillor and an active member of the Conservative group on the borough council as well as the Fire Authority's lead member for Newcastle."
Mr Tagg said he felt it was the "right time" to make his announcement after the budget setting process for 2011-12 and before the May elections to give members time to find a replacement leader for the party group.