Respected Harrogate councillor steps down after decades of public service
Jim Clark was first elected in 2000 for the Harlow ward and elected to North Yorkshire County Council in 2001.
His distinguished CV includes being a former Harrogate Mayor, as well as chairman of the county council.
Mr Clark had also served as a cabinet member on the borough council responsible for finance and resources originally and, latterly, planning for a short period.
There is not expected to be a by-election for his seat following his departure.
With Harrogate Borough Council set to be abolished in April 2023 as part of local government devolution, the council is unable by the rules to run by-elections to fill vacancies arising after September 30, 2022, unless the total number of unfilled vacancies exceeds one third of the whole number of members.
Mr Clark was a staunch supporter of theatre in general, and Harrogate Theatre, in particular, where he had roles in amateur productions.
He was also known for his support for all things Harlow, including as treasurer of the Harlow Hill Community Centre known to all as the Green Hut.
Paying tribute to Mr Clark's public service, Coun Richard Cooper, the leader of Harrogate Borough Council said: "I have known Jim since 1998 and been a council colleague since he was elected for the Harlow ward as a district councillor in 2000.
"He has held several senior positions on the council.
"His love of amateur dramatics led him to be a great advocate for Harrogate Theatre and the arts.
"I join many others in wishing him good health and good fortune as he leaves Harrogate Borough Council."
As well as a wide variety of senior positions in local government politics, Mr Clark’s devotion to Harrogate and the arts led to him commission a new play in 2020 about Harrogate’s little-known role in a secret plan to protect the royal family and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Second World War.