A councillor in Wem is celebrating after reaching 30 years of public service.

Councillor Chris Mellings, who represents Wem at Shropshire Council and is also a town councillor, reached the milestone at the end of May.

And he says that he only has to thank the people in Wem for his long service, picking many highlights along the way.

“My motivation is that, apart from a little bit of madness – you don’t have to be mad as the saying goes – I’ve been lucky to have support from the community over that time,” he said.

“For me, it’s about serving them and giving back to the community for the things that I got as a youngster and I’ve just carried on working for the people as councillor.

“The 30 years seem to have flown by; obviously we’ve seen plenty of changes and there’s more and more challenges, but I’m very lucky.

“These times are unprecedented. Local government over the years has faced spending squeezes but nothing on this scare and although the government says it is, this age of austerity isn’t over.

“It’s quite clear from all the evidence that it’s far from over. For example, you only have to see the issues surrounding elderly care at the moment.

“Local government has to fund it and it’s getting more and more difficult to do, and by the same token other services struggle.

“I remember the time when the Town Hall closed, the swimming pool closed, the toilets closed. But the town council stepped in and made sure people had the services available to them.

“A highlight for me was 20 years ago, the new Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority was formed and I as the first chairman for two years.

“We’re well-served by a great group of people and I’m lucky that I’ve 30 years of experience with the fire service, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, on top of being a school governor in Wem too.

“That’s given me a lot of personal pleasure, hoping that I have put a lot back into the town and hopefully make a difference for the people of Shropshire.”

Cllr Mellings says he still has a long future in his role – providing the people of Wem continue to have faith in him.

“I think I’m still relatively young,” he said.

“I joined when I was 24 and I’m in my early 50s now but hopefully I’ve still got something left in the tank, but how long that’s for is down to the people of Wem, quite rightly so.

“But I’m certainly intending to stand for re-election for Wem in a few years’ time.”