DORSET County Council leader Angus Campbell has announced he is to stand down from the role.
The councillor, who has led the authority for seven years, will not be seeking re-election when the county goes to the polls in May.
He says he feels new ideas are needed at the top and it is time for him to look for fresh challenges.
Coun Campbell told the Dorset Echo: “I do think there is a limit for how long anyone should stay in a position like this.
“We need new people in the cabinet and in leadership positions with fresh ideas.
“As with any business things work more healthily if you keep things moving on.”
He said that he was particularly pleased to have led the council when it hosted the Olympic sailing events last year.
Coun Campbell, who announced his decision at a meeting of full council today, added that one regret he had was not seeing the council through the current austerity measures it is facing as cuts from central government look set to continue for some years to come.
He said: “You always like to finish a job you have started but at the same time I think it is the right time.”