Newcastle’s longest serving Lord Mayor, John Tate has stepped down after 13 years in the top job.

Councillor Tate announced this morning he won’t be contesting a seat on council at next month’s Local Government elections, saying he wants to spend more time on business and personal interests and feels it’s time to step aside for some new blood to come in on council.

John Tate has been a councillor for 32 years and lead the city through the upheaval of the BHP Steelworks closure in 1999.

An emotional Councillor Tate this morning paid tribute to the council staff, especially his personal assistant Kristen McPherson and his wife, Cathy who’ve supported him through the past 13 years.

Amomg his many achievements, he names support for Honeysuckle, promoting the cruise ship industry and more recently, the new museum and Number 2 sportsground among the highlights.

Councillor Tate has assembled an independent ticket and Lord Mayoral candidate for the September poll and, although he won’t be a part of it, hasn’t entirely ruled out running again in the future, although he says this is unlikely.

John Tate