Powys County Council's longest-serving councillor says it is a "great privilege" to have served his local community, Llanidloes, for 50 years.

Gareth Morgan was first elected to Montgomery County Council in 1970 as a Liberal and has continued to represent the town ever since. He remains the only councillor to have served since the local authority was formed in 1974.

Cllr Morgan said: “I’m proud that the people of Llanidloes have supported me for so long. It’s an amazing community. It’s been a great privilege, I’ve enjoyed the time immensely. I just wonder how the time has passed so quickly. I just feel the warmth with the relationship I’ve been privileged to have with my local community."


“I think you’ve got to have the right demeanour and you’ve got to be very devoted to your community to do it. We mustn’t over-emphasise the party politics. We’re here to represent our community and that’s got to be the overwhelming influence in your decision to be a councillor. The motivation has got to come from within you. You’re their servant."

County Times: Cllr Gareth Morgan's leaflet from 1973Cllr Gareth Morgan's leaflet from 1973 (Image: Welsh Liberal Democrats)

Three-time mayor Cllr Morgan has fulfilled many council roles over the years including being member of the management board and chairman from 1999 to 2000.

"I must admit they were great days,” he said. “I think when you get older one is inclined to look back and think of the old days as being very special, but we had some wonderful members on Powys County Council and one learnt so much from them.

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"The most distinguished was Councillor S G Pritchard who represented Berriew for many years. He was an inspiration in how knowledgeable and professional he was and that helped me a lot and always think of him with great respect."

Cllr Morgan has helped make changes in the area including negotiating with the Welsh Government to open up a new entrance into Llanidloes, and negotiating compensation for the town following the closure of BFK which was a big employer for many years.

County Times: Cllr Gareth Morgan at a special gathering with Liberal Democrat colleagues to celebrate 50 years serving his communityCllr Gareth Morgan at a special gathering with Liberal Democrat colleagues to celebrate 50 years serving his community (Image: Welsh Liberal Democrats)

The former solicitor said he decided to get into politics after becoming unhappy with the decisions made by Llanidloes Borough Council.

“There were decisions made with the demolition of some wonderful fine buildings. I thought they were so historical and valuable that they should have been kept but they didn’t and they didn’t have the foresight.

“We have a wonderful relic of the mid Wales railway, the old railway station, which adjoins the bypass which was threatened with demolition, and I tried to persuade the council to support its retention and repair and improvement, and I was told they were of the view it was dangerous and it had to come down.

"I wasn’t prepared to put up with that, so I joined the council, continued my campaign and I got the building listed and it’s still standing proud on the bypass today, it’s a very fine building. It was issues like that that got me going.”

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