Marion Fitzgerald has stepped down as leader of Allerdale Borough Council.

A council spokesman said today: "Coun Marion Fitzgerald has resigned as leader of the council with immediate effect."

Deputy leader Mike Johnson is set to take on the role in the interim.

The spokesman said: "Coun Johnson, as deputy leader, will assume the responsibilities of the leader until a new leader is elected by full council."

The statement praised Coun Fitzgerald's efforts in the role. "Coun Johnson and acting chief executive Andrew Seekings would like to thank Coun Fitzgerald for the leadership, dedication, time and effort she has put into the role."

Only on Thursday her Executive announced that plans to introduce a fortnightly bin collection and charge for garden waste collections in Allerdale could be binned.

Coun Fitzgerald's executive proposed the authority's budget for the coming year which, if ratified by the full council, would see the waste collection remain as it was

She said yesterday: “Council Tax has been increased by the maximum for several years and our proposals mark a departure from this.

“It has been a difficult year with the problems inherited from the waste service but despite that we have managed to find savings and deliver this budget.”

Her deputy, Coun Johnson, was appointed deputy leader just before Christmas. Conservative Coun Johnson, who represents Allhallows and Waverton,was elected after his predecessor Mark Jenkinson became Workington's MP.