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Former Provost To Stand Down.

One of the most senior and experienced members of Dundee City Council has ended months of speculation by confirming he will not be standing for re-election to the local authority next May.

Ex-Lord Provost Mervyn Rolfe, who represents Stobswell and is Economic Development Convener, is to concentrate instead on his role as Chief Executive of Dundee & Tayside Chamber of Commerce.

“There are a number of reasons why I’ve decided not to stand again, some of them personal, some less personal”, he said.

“One of the reasons is that I will have done 17 years in local government, which is a considerable stretch, and I’ve recognised the need to move on”.

There has been speculation for some time that Mr Rolfe – and another senior figure in the Labour administration on the City Council, Planning & Transportation Convener, Robin Presswood – had decided not to stand in the next elections.

Both had declined to comment on speculation, but yesterday Mr Rolfe confirmed what many had suspected.

Mr Presswood, however, was not available to comment on his position.

A question mark appeared over Mr Rolfe’s continued involvement with the City Council as an elected member when he took up his post with the Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of this year.

Many people saw a conflict of interests between his two posts and it is understood Mr Rolfe may have decided some time ago not to seek re-election.

He said he had developed a great interest in the local economy and saw his job with the Chamber as allowing him to further that and contribute to a city and region that he loves.

Mr Rolfe has served on both Dundee City and Tayside Regional Councils. He served for many years as Regional Council Education Convener.

He was Dundee’s Lord Provost from 1996 to 1999 and earned considerable praise for his handling of his term in office. He has been Economic Development Convener since 1999.

Linked with his council service, Mr Rolfe has also held a number of other senior positions, such as Chairman of the Dundee Partnership and Chairman of the Dundee City of Discovery Campaign. He was made a CBE in 2000.

“There are some elements of the Council I will miss and some I most certainly will not miss”, he said. “However, 99.9% of my time in local government has been both challenging and enjoyable. I have been involved in a lot of good projects and worked with a lot of exciting and stimulating people”.

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