The leader of Milton Keynes Council, Councillor Andrew Geary has stepped down from his post ahead of the election results today (Friday).
Mr Geary, who became leader in 2011 when the Conservatives assumed control of Milton Keynes Council, is still standing for his seat in the newly formed Newport Pagnell North & Hanslope ward, with the count taking place later today at stadium:mk.
Mr Geary said: “Twelve months ago I made the decision that, whatever the results today, I will not be seeking to regain the results of the leadership of the Conservative group when it has its annual meeting this evening.
“As a result, Milton Keynes will have a new leader on June 11 at the annual council meeting.
“The last eight years as leader of conservative group and more recently the last three years as leader of the council has been an absolute fantastic time for me personally.
“I have been incredibly privileged to lead a great group of very capable and able people. They have come together as an excellent team.
“Working together as a team I believe we have achieved much for this great city, the borough and all of its residents and that truly is what politics to me is all about.
“I have been given great opportunities; the opportunity to sell Milton Keynes not just in the city but to put it very firmly rooted on the national stage.
“I think in MK we perhaps sometimes underestimate how well thought of we are as a place nationally and internationally.
“I remember well the words of my father who said to me ‘seize every opportunity that ever comes your way because it often won’t come more than once and if you don’t do it you’ll regret it’.
“I try to apply that principle not just through life, but certainly through the way I have lead the council and I hope Milton Keynes has benefited from that.”
Mr Geary thanked the council and his team around him who have supported him throughout this time there.
And speaking emotionally about his private life, Mr Geary spoke of his loved ones who he says most certainly come before politics.
“Finally, and definitely most importantly, to my family,” he added.
“A special thanks to my wife Lisa and my father who between them have born about 80 per cent of the farming work and far bigger share of the family work than they should have ever done.
“I simply couldn’t have done this without you, I am truly grateful.
“It really has been an honour to play such a small part in this great city.
“Whoever my successor happens to be, will be a very fortunate individual and I only hope they enjoy it as much as I have done.
“But now it is time to concentrate on other things; things I have neglected for too long and things that must now have top priority in my life.
“However great an honour and privilege it has been to lead this great city, borough and council that does not come close to the privilege of being both a husband and a father.
“And also, a farmer the job I now return to, that yes I have missed the last three years but I have absolutely loved what I’ve done.
“To everybody I thank you - this is the end of one chapter but the beginning of another. If it’s right for me, it’s right for Milton Keynes.”