Council leader Murray Lyle is stepping down after having had “the absolute privilege” of representing Strathallan ward for the past 15 years.
The Conservative leader is one of a dozen councilors who will not be standing for re-election at the forthcoming local elections on May 5.
The Perth and Kinross councilor counts getting the Tay Cities Deal over the line and progressing plans with the Cross Tay Link Road, Perth City Hall, Perth High School and Blairgowrie Recreation Center as the greatest achievements under his leadership.
Farmer Murray Lyle was first elected to Perth and Kinross Council in 2007.
When asked this week why he was stepping down, he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I’m just stepping down having been a councilor for 15 years. I’ve done my shift!
“I have had the privilege of leading the council for the past four years and – in my view – the best council in the country. The way we have moved Perth forward – the potential for economic prosperity in Perth is great.”
He added: “It’s been an absolute privilege to represent the people of Strathallan.
“I am of an age and it’s time to do other things.”
Cllr Lyle became council leader in February 2018 following the death of Highland Perthshire Conservative councilor Ian Campbell. Murray Lyle stepped up from his role as deputy to lead what was then a coalition administration.
The Independent and Labor group left the coalition in May 2018. Then in September 2019 the Conservatives decided to go it alone – without the Lib Dem group – as a minority administration.
Cllr Lyle told the LDRS disagreements between councilors were to be expected but the arrival of the COVID pandemic in 2020 was “unexpected” and brought his biggest challenges during his tenure as leader.
Cllr Lyle said: “The biggest challenges have been around COVID.
“And particularly around the first outbreak at the 2 Sisters factory in Coupar Angus. There were meetings day and night. The way staff in Perth and Kinross stepped up to the plate to help the most vulnerable citizens was a good example that was followed nationally and taken on as a template as to how they were handled.”
And his legacy?
Reflecting, he said: “The highlights have been getting the Tay Cities Deal over the line and progressing plans with the Cross Tay Road Link, Perth City Hall, Perth High School and Blairgowrie Recreation Center – all things that will improve Perth’s prosperity in the future.” .”
I have thanked council officers for “pushing on” with the “nitty gritty” of these developments when asked.
Fellow Strathallan councilor Crawford Reid – who is standing for re-election – wished his Conservative colleague well.
He said: “We were incredibly fortunate to have Murray Lyle as the council leader during these difficult times, and I must thank Murray for his tireless efforts since he took over the mantle as leader of the council.
“I wish Murray a very good retirement from public life.”
A total of 12 of the current 40 councilors will not be standing for re-election.
They are: Michael Barnacle (CON/Kinross-shire), Kathleen Baird (CON/Almond and Earn), Audrey Coates (CON/Perth City South) and husband Harry Coates (CON/Perth City North), Tom Gray (SNP/Strathallan ), Murray Lyle (CON/Strathallan), Roz McCall (CON/Strathearn), Beth Pover (SNP/Carse of Gowrie), Callum Purves (CON/Kinross-shire), Fiona Sarwar (SNP/Strathmore), Lewis Simspon (Lib Dem/Strathmore) and Willie Wilson (Lib Dem/Perth City South).