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11 May 2016, 09:26
The Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council has announced he's standing down after more than nine years in the job.
Ray Manning was first elected as Leader in January 2007, and says it's now time for "fresh blood" to take over.
When he took over there were huge cuts and savings to be made. Under his leadership the Council has focussed on delivering high quality and value for money services.
The Council is now one of the top performing in the country and has recently been recognised nationally for its innovative approach to generating income by setting up its own housing company.
It has also began sharing more services with Cambridge City and Huntingdonshire District Councils, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Cllr Manning said: "It has been an absolute honour to serve South Cambridgeshire as the Leader of the Council for the past nine years.
"I am now at a time in my life when I need to listen to the real boss - my wife Marion - and let fresh blood take up the reins at the Council.
"The approach to delivering services to our communities has evolved considerably over recent years to make sure we have been able to meet the challenges of continued budget cuts from Government and with more in front of us, such as devolution and shared services, it is the right time for me to stand aside.
"When I became the Leader of the Council it was in no overall control and a long way from the modern and well managed authority we are today. I would like to thank all the councillors who have helped to raise standards with me and also a huge thank you to our staff for their dedication."
Cllr Manning will continue to represent the villages of Willingham and Over as a backbench councillor.
The Conservative group will now elect a new leader of their group, and the new Leader of the Council will be announced at the Annual General Meeting next Thursday (19th May).