A GLOWING tribute to the retiring leader of Ryedale District Council was paid by his chief political opponent, Coun John Clark.

The Liberal group leader told the council: “We have disagreed many times in this council but he has worked hard and diligently and has always had an open mind.”

And, added Coun Clark: “If he has been wrong on an issue he has admitted it and come back to the council and said so. He has been good to work with and been a good servant of Ryedale District Council.”

Coun Edward Legard (Con) agreed, saying: “Keith Knaggs has served RDC and his colleagues well. He has performed his role as leader outstandingly, despite being profoundly deaf. He has a record to be proud of.”

But there was dissention from Coun Paul Andrews (Ind) who said he was opposing the motion of thanks to Coun Knaggs, because “of the way this council has been led to destroy Malton”.

In response to the support, Coun Knaggs said he had been “intensely embarrassed” by the praise. “It has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience,” he added. “My aim has been to give something back to the community.”

Coun Knaggs acknowledged that deteriorating hearing had made his role difficult in recent years.