IAN Lucas has thanked residents after his 18 years as Wrexham's MP ended this week.

With parliament dissolved ahead of next month's general election, Tuesday marked Mr Lucas' final day in the role after he earlier announced his intention not to stand for reselection.

He told the Leader how he felt the following day.

"Obviously it is a big change for me," he explained.

"I would like to thank the people of Wrexham - being an MP is an excellent job and it has given me huge opportunities and positive experiences.

"It can be difficult at times as well. I have always tried to do my best with my own judgement but you can't please people all the time, I learned that early on.

"But the people of Wrexham respect when you do what you think is right, even when they disagree with you. I have tried to do my best at every stage.

"It is a wonderful constituency to represent. It is very mixed and has lots of different types of people and businesses, and it is changing a lot.

"Managing that is going to be difficult and I think what we really need to do next is to get all the institutions in the town to work more closely together with a single vision of what we want Wrexham to be and take it from there.

"I have a very good candidate succeeding me in Mary [Wimbury]. I'm very keen that my successor should be a Labour MP."

On his final day, Mr Lucas' daughter Ellen tweeted: "He hates fuss but today is Dad’s last day as an MP after over 18 years of dedication to Wrexham, the Labour Party and public service.

"[Ian Lucas] is quietly formidable. He has achieved so much and helped so many people over the years.

"He is also a wonderful father. I am so proud of him."