The veteran councillor has stood in the area for more than 25 years, making him the longest serving politician in West Dunbartonshire.

He is also the only serving Scottish Socialist councillor in Scotland.

Speaking to the Reporter, Cllr Bollan this will be his last term. He said: “I decided last year I will not contest the council elections in 2017.

“I don’t believe you should go on and on in these elected positions forever.

“Come the elections in 2017 I will have been a councillor for 28 years and I believe this is a sufficient amount of time to have been in that role.” The councillor for the Leven ward is currently suspended for criticising a council officer and for failing to declare a non pecuniary interest when he supported a community group in the Leven ward being allocated a funding grant. The 64 year-old was suspended for nine months and returns on March 5.

Cllr Bollan has served as a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and was at one time the Labour group leader on Dumbarton District Council.

He was elected as an Independent for Renton and Alexandria South in the 1999 elections, defeating a Labour opponent.

He went on to join the Scottish Socialist Party and was re-elected in 2003, defeating his SNP opponent.

Cllr Bollan was selected as the number one candidate for the SSP in the West Scotland region for the Scottish Parliament election, 2011, but failed to win the seat.

In the 2012 Scottish local elections he was re-elected comfortably as a councillor, coming second and winning on the first count.

Les Robertson, fellow SSP activist and friend, said: “I think at the end of the day it’s Jim’s decision, he’s been in the job nearly 30 years, and is a credit to the party and socialism.

“He’ll be sorely missed by the people he’s represented in Renton, Alexandria, and further afield.” Mr Robertson added: “Jim’s a democrat and believes they shouldn’t be in these positions forever.

“It is the right time for him to move on. I’m sure he’ll carry on the struggle for peace and socialism in other ways.

“It’s been almost 30 years, he deserves some time and space to himself. It’s a pity that the part-time councillors haven’t put in half the effort working for the constituents that Jim has.

“He’s well respected in this district and the people will sorely miss him. Jim’s been their champion for 30 years and I’m proud to have him as a comrade.”