The councillor in charge of education in Bradford has unexpectedly resigned.

Colin Gill, a fully-qualified psychologist who runs his own company, Psychological Solutions, in Bingley, said he had decided to quit due to the strain placed on his professional life.

Mr Gill, a long-serving Conservative councillor for Bingley, said: “My role as executive member for services to children and young people has been incredibly time-consuming and has constantly placed strain on my business and other commitments.

“I cannot meet my professional obligations and devote sufficient time to serving the people of Bingley and the children of Bradford so I have chosen to relinquish elected office.

“It has been a great honour to represent the people of Bingley, Crossflatts, Eldwick, Gilstead and Micklethwaite and I am grateful to them for electing me four times.”

In a statement, council leader Councillor Chris Hopkins said: “Colin has been an extremely effective member of the Executive since taking on responsibility for children and young people in December 2006.

“He is a great loss to Bradford Council and to education in the district.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Labour group’s education spokesman, said: “Yet another portfolio holder for children has gone at a time when we need to be clearly articulating what we need to do for the young people of Bradford. We are not meeting the targets for our children that we should be meeting and now we have another crisis of leadership.”

He urged Coun Hopkins to consult the leaders of Bradford’s main parties before appointing a replacement.

Councillor David Ward, Liberal Democrat group education spokesman, praised Mr Gill for completing a “huge amount” of work in his education role.

He said the Tories now needed to appoint the “best person they could find” as education was entering a crucial period as the end of the Council’s £360-million, ten-year contract with Education Bradford approached.

Coun Hopkins is expected to announce Mr Gill’s successor in the coming days.