Wendy Walters to replace Carmarthenshire's long-serving chief

Wendy Walters Image copyright Carmarthenshire County Council
Image caption Wendy Walters has served Carmarthenshire in a series of senior roles

A replacement for Wales' longest serving council chief executive has been appointed.

Carmarthenshire's Mark James has been in post 17 years but retires in June.

The local authority has announced director of regeneration and policy Wendy Walters will work alongside him until then.

After he steps down, she will then take on the role, with council leader Emlyn Dole saying Ms Walters will offer a "new vigour" and "tenacity".

He added she would "drive our ambitions, motivate our workforce and deliver for our communities".

Born and raised in Carmarthenshire, Ms Walters has worked in local government for 16 years and in senior management positions across the public, private and voluntary sector for more than 24 years.

She has previously served the council as assistant chief executive and head of economic development.

Councillor Dole said: "We were clear that we wanted a chief officer who would play an integral role in shaping the authority, and strengthening our profile as an ambitious, forward-thinking council that delivers for our residents, businesses and partners."

Ms Walters said she was "honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity so close to home, family and friends".

"Carmarthenshire County Council is not afraid to be bold and ambitious," she said.

"That is something that will drive me as I work with our dedicated team of officers and members to deliver quality services for our communities and exciting regeneration initiatives."

The council decided in February to cut the chief executive's salary from £175,000 to £145,000, to bring it into line with other Welsh local authorities.

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