Stephen Farry MLA stated: “I have decided to step down as a member of North Down Borough Council at the May 2011 election.
“The Council has been my political home and base for the past 18 years, and it will be a real wrench to leave. Indeed, it is somewhat surreal to be retiring from Council before the age of 40 having first been elected back in 1993 at the age of 22, then the youngest councillor in Northern Ireland.
“My decision is solely driven by a desire to bring forward new talent and to give opportunities for different people. Alliance is a growing party, particularly with younger people. Next week, we are going to announce a very diverse and exciting team of candidates for the 2011 local election. Of the seven candidates, five will be standing for the council for the first time.
“It has been a real honour to serve as councillor. I was particularly privileged to have the opportunity to assume the role of both Mayor and Deputy Mayor. I hope that I have made a difference, and hope that my legacy will be a culture of stronger financial management and value for money.
“North Down has also become a very constructive atmosphere in which to do business. There is a strong officer team, and critically a real sense of partnership between the main parties that has now lasted for well over a decade.
“I fully intend to contest the 2011 Assembly Election for North Down. If elected, I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the local community and in close co-operation with the new Alliance team on North Down Council as an MLA.”