A MAN who has been involved in community work since he was a teenager has become Wrexham’s new mayor.

Cllr Jim Kelly and his wife, Elizabeth, were installed as the borough’s first citizens at a ceremony in the Guildhall.

Cllr Kelly, who takes over from Cllr Arwel Gwynn Jones, has been a county councilor for the Borras ward since 1999 and also served as a community councillor for Acton for more than 25 years.

Born in Wexford, Ireland, he moved to Wrexham in 1964 to set up a plastic packaging unit on the industrial estate.

Speaking of his pride at becoming mayor, Cllr Kelly said: “It is a privilege to have such an honour bestowed upon you.

“It is also an honour to have the support of the whole council and hopefully I can do my best.

“When we first came here Wrexham was a lovely market town, the Beast Market was the place to go on a Monday and everyone came from surrounding areas.

“I have seen Wrexham grow and develop over the years and I believe it is a tremendous town.

“It is now the premier town in North Wales and the whole area is buzzing.”

He added: “I have always been involved in the community and cathedral parish here in Wrexham.

“I have been heavily involved in community work ever since I was a teenager back in Ireland and to some extent this is just an extension of it.

“My aims and targets are very much continuing the good work that Arwel Jones has done during his tenure as mayor.”

Looking ahead to the year in prospect, Cllr Kelly said: “We have the refurbishment of our three secondary schools coming along; we have the preparation for the National Eisteddfod.

“More tourists will be coming to the area now that Pontcysyllte is a World Heritage Site.”

Cllr Kelly said the nominated charities for his year as mayor would be the Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust and the St Vincent de Paul Society, both of which he has been involved with for many years.