Councillor Keith Reynolds has been elected the new leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council.
His appointment follows his election as leader of the council’s Labour group earlier this week.
Cllr Reynolds replaces former council leader Harry Andrews who has stepped down to spend more time with his family.
Members of Caerphilly County Borough Council elected Cllr Keith Reynolds as their new council Leader during the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday May 8.
Cllr Reynolds, who represents the Aberbargoed ward, has been involved in local government for 35 years. In recent times he has held the post of deputy leader and has been Cabinet Member for Corporate Services.
He said: “To be elected to lead what I truly believe to be among the best local authorities in Wales, to me, is a true honour.
“This honour, of course, is one tinged with sadness, in that we are losing a great friend and colleague in Cllr Harry Andrews from the council’s Cabinet.
“Harry truly will be a hard act to follow, but rest assured that I have learned from the best – and look upon my new role with great determination and vigour in moving forward.
“Like councils across the length and breadth of Wales, this council continues to face challenges. But I firmly believe, that with our dedicated and talented workforce and the continued commitment of members and officers right across this council, we can meet these challenges that lie ahead head on, and continue to do what we are all ultimately here for: to deliver first class, value for money services to the residents of Caerphilly county borough.”
As a young man Cllr Reynolds worked as a colliery blacksmith for more than 29 years in both Bargoed and Penallta Collieries. He then spent 18 years as a Community Health Council (CHC) Chief Officer, firstly at Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley, and latterly at the newly created Cwm-Taf (CHC), where he took retirement in 2010.
Cllr Reynolds lives on the same street as his childhood home with Sheila, his wife of 45 years. They have two sons, four grandsons and two step grandsons.
Cllr Harry Andrews became leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council in 2012, and was also leader between 2004 and 2008. He will remain as councillor for Gilfach, whom he has represented for more than four decades.
Cllr Andrews said: “The honour of being leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council has been my proudest achievement in over 40 years in politics and I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead what I believe is one of the best local authorities in Wales.
“I am now looking forward to the future and spending more time with my family, but rest assured, I will remain a committed and dedicated member of this council and will always do my utmost to serve the residents of our county borough.”
Cllr Barbara Jones, who represents the St James ward, will take on the role of Deputy Leader of Council along with Cllr Gerald Jones. Cllr Barbara Jones also assumes the role of Cabinet Member for Corporate Services.