INDEPENDENT councillor Peter de Vink has resigned from the cabinet of Midlothian Council.
The 70-year-old businessman joined the cabinet as finance convener to help the SNP form an administration after the local elections earlier this year.
But he said he found the experience “frustrating” and his health and his business were suffering. Despite quitting the cabinet, he said he would remain as a councillor and a member of the coalition.
Cllr de Vink’s resignation is just the latest blow for the SNP group, which earlier this summer saw leader Lisa Beatttie step down from the role after just five weeks in the job, amid rumours of in-fighting.
Cllr de Vink became embroiled in the row after being called back from a trip to see family in Amsterdam earlier this year to help vote in a new SNP leader.
In his resignation letter, Cllr de Vink said: “Following my election to the council in May, which came as a surprise to many, especially me, I have thrown myself into the work of Midlothian with great enthusiasm and concentrated all my efforts in trying to find ways to improve Midlothian Council. I am no longer a young man and while I have found the work exciting at times, I have also found it extremely tiring and greatly frustrating. To try to achieve the changes I believe will help Midlothian surpass its potential, I have been forced to put my former life on the back burner. My health and my business interests have suffered and it is time to redress the balance in my life.
“Ultimately the job of a councillor is to represent his or her ward members and I intend to refocus my energies to concentrate on them and carry out my duties as an elected local authority representative.”
Council leader Bob Constable said he had accepted Cllr de Vink’s resignation “with reluctance but with understanding”.
He said: “Peter remains a valued member of our SNP/Independent coalition and has much to offer the people of Midlothian.”
Cllr Jim Bryant will take over the finance role.