The majority held by the ruling Independent and Tory administration at Moray Council has been reduced by one with the surprise resignation of Buckie councillor Anne McKay.
Mrs McKay has resigned with immediate effect, citing personal reasons for her decision.
A by-election will now be held within three months – in the meantime the administration’s overall majority is reduced to one, with their 13 seats matched up against nine from the SNP and three from the Labour party.
Mrs McKay was first elected in Buckie in 2007 after spending some time as a community councillor in Findochty. She was re-elected in 2012 and has served as chair of the health and social care committee. She described her time as a councillor as “immensley rewarding”.
The Council’s convener, Stewart Cree, admitted that he had “great regret” in accepting Mrs McKay’s resignation.
He said: “Anne has served her community in an exemplary manner since her election and has acted as the chair of the Health and Social Care Committee since May 2012.
“In this regard she has been invaluable in helping to progress the move towards closer integration between Moray Council and Grampian Health Service on issues of adult care.
“I respect and understand her decision which she assures me is for entirely personal reasons and I wish her every success in the future.”