COUNCILLOR Archie Drummond has cited personal reasons for his shock resignation last week.

First elected in 2012, the Tillicoultry SNP man came from a background in local government and community activism and initially represented people in the north ward as an independent.

After his resignation was announced on Thursday, December 21, Archie said: “For the past six years or so I have been pleased to represent the people in my communities as best as I could, but have decided that I want and need the time to do personal stuff that I have put off for those years.“

He then went on: “I recognise that this is more boring than a sex scandal or a tale of financial impropriety, but I really do want to quit politics to spend time with my family and my postponed personal plans.”

Archie's resignation came into effect on December 31, 2017, and a by-election will be held in the ward within three months once the notice is published in the near future.

The former councillor added: “I trust that, in the by-election, the people of Clackmannanshire North will continue to put their trust in the Scottish National Party to best protect their interests.”

Archie used to be in the SNP, but quit the party for his first term at the local authority.

He rejoined the nationalist ranks in 2016; he originally distanced himself to reflect the all-party, non-party nature of the Tillicoultry Action Group, which supported his original campaign for election.

Over the years, Archie remained active in his home town and was a familiar face at events like the Tillicoultry Community Week, where he worked on the organising committee.

In 2016, he joined forces with Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside Community Council, as well as the local authority, to spruce up the war memorials of the town ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

He made sure the monuments, “among the most valuable pieces of our built environment” - as he put it at the time, received specialist conservation treatment.

And within a year, he also spearheaded a project which saw the launch of a mini war memorial trail in town, with information panels placed at the cemetery, on Moss Road as well as on the High Street.

Earlier in 2016, the then independent councillor was suspended for six months, after a Standards Commissioner for Scotland hearing panel found he breached the Councillor's Code of Conduct on three charges.

They related to his behaviour towards council officers while he was representing a constituent in a complex housing and child care case between 2012-15.

Following the ruling, he said: “One reason given for their decision was that I aligned myself too closely to my constituents.

“I hope I am guilty of that because that is what I believe a councillor is there to do and that my community will rightly accept no less.”

Councillor Dave Clark, leader of the Labour Group, praised Archie's commitment and described his resignation as a loss for the council.

To read his comments in full, turn to the letters section on page 22 of this week's Alloa Advertiser.