A GARNANT councillor is set to mark his 40th anniversary of becoming a councillor by being named the new Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council.

Cllr Kevin Madge was first elected to Cwmaman Town Council at the age of 21 in 1979.

Since then he has gone on to work on a number of projects in the Amman Valley.

Among the achievements he is most proud of, he says, are the extra facilities brought to Grenig Park, the establishing of Garnant Golf Club, and the building of Ysgol Y Bedol.

After being elected to the town council in 1979, Cllr Madge stood for election to Dinefwr Borough Council in 1987, and was re-elected to Carmarthenshire County Council following reorganisation in 1995.

During his time on the council he has served as leader, deputy leader and soon chairman of the authority.

He has also enjoyed five stints as Cwmaman Town Mayor.

Talking about his time in office, Cllr Madge said: “When I was growing up, the only open space we had to play in was what is now Grenig Park. It was just a field and a green shed at that point.

“I always wanted to sort that park out, and when I was 21 someone asked why I didn’t join the town council. I wasn’t sure at the time but then one of the councillors at the time mentioned it to me and I decided to go for it.

“We have now got a play area, two football pitches, and football club that is in the second tier of Welsh football. I am hugely proud of what has happened there.”

Alongside the work that has taken place at Grenig Park, Cllr Madge lists his involvement with Ysgol y Bedol as one of his proudest achievements.

In 2003 the council proposed to close Garnant, Glanaman and Twyn schools, planning them to be replaced by a super school on the Twyn site to the cost of £6 million.

Cllr Madge, along with Councillor Colin Evans, was heavily involved in the set up of the school, holding a number of community meetings to find out the desire for the new school in the area, and what people felt was needed.

He said: “The schools were falling apart. It was clear that it was a good idea to go for the funding and try and open a new facility.

“It was not easy to close those schools but we knew it would be for the best, and it lead to the fantastic school we have now.

“Seeing the young people in this area getting the most out of those facilities is one of my proudest moments.”

The school was opened by former First Minister Rhodri Morgan in 2006.

Later this month, Cllr Madge will be appointed as Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council, something he describes as a “huge honour”.

He adds: “I can’t wait to get started. I have been lucky in my 40 years to serve some wonderful people in Garnant, and in Glanaman.

“And I have had the support of my wonderful wife as well, without whom I probably couldn’t have been doing this for as long as I have.

“I still don’t know if I will stand again next time round. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t but another part of me thinks there is still more to do. I have never wanted to just sit back and let it pass me by.”