Rhayader town councillor John Jones has retired after serving the Cwmdauddwr community for 18 years.

The 72-year-old grandfather said he will miss being on the council but it was time to let somebody younger join with new ideas.

“I’ve really enjoyed being on the town council but too many birthdays catch-up with you. Eighteen years is quite a long time,” he said.

“I had a lovely letter from the council last week thanking me for everything that I’ve done. Now is a good time to give up before winter sets in.”

During almost two decades of representing his beloved Cwmdauddwr, Mr Jones said the highlight was becoming mayor in 2008.

“It was quite a difficult year because there was talk of Crossfield House closing so we had lots of meeting about that and it took up my year.”

Mr Jones said he is “very proud to be a Cwmdauddwr man” and added that it was an honour to represent Britain’s largest parish where he has lived all his life.

“When we talk about the bridge between Rhayader and Cwmdauddwr, I always called it the Cwmdauddwr bridge and all the councillors would have a go at me because they reckon my world finishes at Cwmdauddwr bridge.”

Mr Jones said he has plenty to do in his retirement as he continues his community roles as chairperson of Dolymynach House and as Cwmdauddwr Old School trustee.

“My biggest regret of giving up was that I was a trustee of the Smithfield Trust, the market, and as I was on it because I was a town councillor, I won’t be on it anymore. At least we’ve built new pens and brought in auctioneers, it’s thriving so it can carry on.”

Rhayader Town Council said councillor Jones’ decision to step down after almost two decades is a “huge loss” to the area and all the councillors and the clerk wish him well in his retirement.

Rhayader councillor Clare Evans said: “It has been a pleasure working with – and sitting by – John Jones in Rhayader Town Council Chamber over all of those years.”

While Cllr Dai Davies added: “Thank you John Jones for all your help as being a relatively new councillor your knowledge and expertise on everything town council has been immense.”