Ryan Houghton reflects on time as Aberdeen City Council Conservative leader after announcing step back

Ryan Houghton. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Ryan Houghton is stepping down as Conservative leader of Aberdeen City Council after just two years in the role.

He's vowing to keep fighting for local leisure facilities and local people and will continue his work as a councillor for Airyhill, Broomhill and Garthee until the next election in 2027.

He's been at the fore of local politics since 2017 and this year embarked on a new career in law.

The RAF veteran, who has a young family, said: "I've decided to step down after two years in the role.

"I've been a councillor for over six years now and in that time I've had opportunities to try and deliver on real policies to make people's loves better in Aberdeen and to have had that opportunity is a real privilege.

"But I think you should do these jobs for a certain amount of time and then let other people have that opportunity as well. We've got a whole new cohort of councillors who came on last year after the election and to give them the opportunity and experience going forward is the best way to do things."

He says stepping down is going to be "a change of pace".

He added: "I've always been someone who tries to give 100% to everything.

"I'm feeling good knowing I'm handing the role over to someone whose quite capable and is really passionate about our city.

"Aberdeen is going through a very difficult time where we are seeing increased budget cuts coming through from the Scottish Government. Next year I think is going to be really difficult so it's important everyone works together as hard as possible to mitigate those cuts that are coming our way."

He does have some regrets from his time in power, saying: "Looking back I'm not very proud of the investments that were made during my time.

"It's also for me what's been important is some of the slightly smaller projects that do a whole lot of good for people.

"I'm proud of everything I've done in all my roles so far and I look to continue doing my best as a ward member and a member of other committees."

Deputy leader Rick Brooks will take over in March.

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