THE leader of Blaenau Gwent council, Hedley McCarthy was re-elected to the post yesterday, as was his deputy Steve Thomas.

Members also officially elected the council’s new mayor and deputy mayor for 2014/15 at the annual general meeting.

Cllr Bernard Willis officially replaced 2013/14 mayor Mostyn Lewis yesterday, after he was proposed and unanimously elected at a meeting of the council last month.

He officially took on the position at the AGM yesterday, receiving the chains of the mayor’s office from outgoing Cllr Lewis.

Cllr Mostyn Lewis thanked the council for a “marvellous” year.

He said: “It has been a wonderful year and every invitation to an event was a privilege to attend.

“We have met some wonderful people and made many new friends.”

He thanked the council for electing him, the new mayor for his support over the last year, the people of Blaenau Gwent and his wife for her support as his consort during his year in office.

New mayor and Labour councillor Mr Willis has represented Tredegar Central and West ward for four years, is a member of Tredegar Town Council and former mayor of Tredegar.

He left school to start an apprenticeship with the gas board, before setting up his own company which he sold in 2000. In 2008, he joined Tredegar Town Council.

When the then borough councillor for Central and West died, he was asked to step in and stood for his seat.

His daughter Kim will be his consort and his charities will be Breast Cancer Wales and Velindre. His deputy will be Derrick Bevan, Labour councillor for the Cwm ward. Both the new mayor and deputy mayor grew up on the same street as children, attended the same school and remain firm friends.

The AGM appointed its 10 executive members – Cllrs McCarthy and Cllr Thomas as leader and deputy; Cllr Graham Bartlett as executive member for economic strategy and development; Cllr Jim McIlwee as executive member for financial management and strategy; Cllr Barry Sutton as executive member for governance; Cllr Keith Haydn as executive member for highways and transportation, Cllr David Wilkshire as executive member for skills and work preparation; Cllr Anita Hobbs as executive member for social services – children and active living, Cllr Haydn Trollope as executive member for social services – adult services and Cllr David White as executive member for waste management and the environment.