Labour councillor Alan Laing will resign as a councillor next month for work reasons, he has announced.
Alan Laing’s employer is Four Communications, a firm lobbying for a controversial Sainsbury’s supermarket development in Stoke Newington which was also hired to design a new council-commissioned website, Destination Hackney.
In a statement on the Hackney Central Labour blog, Cllr Laing says:”It is with sadness that I will be resigning next month as a councillor for Hackney Central ward.
“Since first being elected to represent my ward in 2002, the council, the ward and the borough have transformed in ways that few of us would have predicted. With new schools, youth facilities, better and cleaner streets and crime falling year on year – we have achieved much of what we promised to do back in 2002.
“I have, however, wished to return to Scotland for some time and the company I work for agreed to me opening a Scotland office last year, which will mean I spend increasing amounts of my time there.
Cllr Laing continues: “As my work outside London increases it means that I cannot remain a councillor until the end of my term in 2014. I know that my colleagues will select a suitably able candidate to continue to work alongside Samantha [Lloyd] and Vincent [Stops].
“I would like to pay particular thanks to my local party and fellow councillors who have been a tremendous support over the years and I wish them and Hackney all the best for the future. I will also take a keen interest in the borough and I look forward to seeing the transformation as it continues in the years to come.”
In the 2010 local elections, Cllr Alan Laing received 2,757 votes, the largest vote of any candidate in Hackney Central Ward.
A Hackney Council spokesperson said a byelection will be announced once Cllr Laing has resigned./ 20 February, 2012