A newly-elected MSP has announced she is stepping down as a councillor.
Mid-Formartine SNP councillor Karen Adam was elected to represent Banffshire and Buchan Coast at the Holyrood elections earlier this month.
Now the mother-of-six has announced she will step down as a councillor, believing the area needs someone who can focus on it “full-time”.
The 45-year-old has always been open about her intention to stand down, but Aberdeenshire Council’s SNP group leader Gwyneth Petrie said they were “disappointed” to see her go.
A by-election will now be held.
Ms Adam said: “After a month of careful consideration, I have concluded that my focus should be entirely on my role as the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast and I feel that the people living in Mid-Formartine deserve a full-time representative as their councillor.
“Some politicians can successfully carry out both roles as a councillor and MSP, however, I have been very open about my commitments as a parent and carer.
“As always, individual circumstances play a part in any decision such as this.”
Breaking down barriers
In an interview over the weekend, Ms Adam opened up about how she plans to use her life experiences – including growing up in a same-sex home, being a teenage mum, surviving an abusive relationship and being a former member of the Mormon Church – to help others in her new parliamentary role.
Ms Adam, who became the first MSP to take the oath in British Sign Language, as her father is deaf, has pledged to breakdown barriers during her time in Holyrood.
As a councillor, she worked to help and support women who experienced domestic violence, and to update the local authority’s autism strategy and British Sign Language plan.
SNP group leader Mrs Petrie added: “We are, of course, disappointed to see Karen leave the group – she has been an integral and valued member and will be a huge miss.
“We do, however, recognise that this is the best decision for Ms Adam, and her personal circumstances. We wish her all the best for the future, and look forward to continuing to work with her, albeit in a different way.”
Taking on both jobs
As a result of the recent election, several local councillors have found themselves in a similar predicament.
Former Aberdeen City Council co-leader, Douglas Lumsden decided to stay on as a councillor until next year’s elections and will donate his salary to local charities.
The North East MSP has however stepped down as co-leader of the council and Conservative group leader, and relinquished his various roles on committees.
Aberdeen Donside MSP Jackie Dunbar, Jackie Dunbar, who has sat on Aberdeen City Council for the last 14 years, representing the Northfield and Mastrick North ward, has made the same decision.