One of East Renfrewshire Council’s top officials is to retire after 37 years of service in local government.

Caroline Innes will step down from her role as deputy chief executive and director of corporate and community services at the end of January.

Having been with East Renfrewshire Council since it was first formed 26 years ago, Mrs Innes has been responsible for a range of corporate, support and community services, including HR, IT, customer services, benefits and community safety.

Paying tribute to her efforts over the decades, council leader Tony Buchanan said: “I have always enjoyed working alongside Caroline and wish her every happiness in retirement.

“Caroline has been a dedicated public servant for almost four decades and her work over the past 18 months has served to further highlight her absolute commitment to local people.

“The last year or so has been particularly challenging for everyone and Caroline has shown outstanding leadership throughout. She has always shown a real desire to deliver the very best for the people of East Renfrewshire and I thank her for all her hard work throughout the years.”

East Renfrewshire Council chief executive Lorraine McMillan added: “It has been an absolute privilege to have had Caroline as part of the council’s management team.

“Her experience and valued insight into a wide range of issues will be missed. She has been such a valued colleague and I wish her well in her retirement.”

Mrs Innes started her local government career with COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities), developing national policy, specialising in housing and planning, and advising on key pieces of legislation as they passed through Parliament.

The process for appointing a successor will be outlined at a future council meeting.