Mr Mackay has been widely praised as an effective council leader and has been prominent in constant efforts to secure a better funding deal from the Scottish Government, working with colleagues in other island authorities and nationally through COSLA.
He told the Gazette: “It’s been a privilege to represent Stornoway North and over the years the good people of the ward have been very helpful, reasonable and supportive. I think it’s really important to know and understand the issues in your own area and that is why it is vital that a councillor lives in the ward they represent.
“Like me, Neil Mackay and Iain Macaulay were born and brought up in the ward and continue to live there. It makes a huge difference. As Neil and I step down I hope Iain continues and is joined by new councillors who live in the area. I would encourage residents of Stornoway North to think about standing ... it’s a great area to represent”.
On his role as leader, Mr Mackay said: “I enjoyed the five years and had great support from the majority of councillors and a very able team of officers.
"I thank the community generally for their support particularly through the past two ‘covid’ years when I encountered nothing but encouragement and un derstanding which made the job that much easier.
“All those who ensured our children were taught and looked after, our elderly were cared for, our roads were maintained and our refuse was collected deserve great praise, as do all those involved in delivering financial support to our businesses.
He added: “Whilst the new Leader and members will have challenges, especially around reduced funding coming to the Comhairle from government, they will also have plenty of exciting opportunities and projects to carry forward and develop”.