Caldicot councillor Jim Higginson will serve as Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council for the term 2016/17.  His appointment was agreed at the council’s annual meeting on Tuesday 10th May and he replaces Usk councillor Brian Strong.

Jim has been a member of Monmouthshire County Council since 1999 and currently represents Caldicot’s Severn ward.  He has been a Caldicot Town Councillor for 33 years, has served as mayor on three occasions and was a member of the former Monmouth Borough Council for two years before local government reorganisation in 1996.

During his time as a county councillor Jim has served on a number of committees including Licensing and Regulatory, Audit, Planning, Community Governance, and L.E.A. Governor Appointments while also representing the council on a number of external bodies.  He was the council’s cabinet member from 2002 to 2004 for Housing, Personnel, Health and Safety and led the Labour Group from 2008 to 2012.

Jim was born and raised in Ebbw Vale where he attended Briery Hill Primary and Ebbw Vale Grammar schools.  He was employed in the steel industry for 41 years, starting in Ebbw Vale before transferring to Llanwern in 1973.  Seven years later he moved to Caldicot.  As a steel worker he was a branch trade union official for the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (now part of the union known as Community).

Jim married Rae in 1968 and they had one son, Paul who is married to Natasha.  Sadly, Rae, who was Mayor of Caldicot in 2003/04 died from cancer ten years ago.

A keen rugby follower, Jim has been a coach, administrator, referee and committee member of Caldicot RFC for many years.  He also has a great love of motorcycles.

Jim’s candidature was proposed by Councillor Dimitri Batrouni.  He said: “It’s an absolute honour to nominate Jim who has given such wonderful service to his community.”  Councillor Batrouni’s nomination was seconded by Council Leader Peter Fox who added: “Over many years I have enjoyed working with Jim on various bodies and look forward to his chairing the council.  I look forward to a great year and offer my full support.”

Jim’s chosen charities during his term of office are St David’s Foundation Hospice Care and paediatric palliative care organisation, Ty Hafan.

Abergavenny councillor Paul Jordan was elected as Vice Chairman of the council.