A STOURTON political stalwart who has "loved every moment of being a councillor" has spoken of his pride at being awarded an MBE in the New Year's honours list.

Conservative councillor Brian Edwards has been recognised for more than 30 years of service to local government.

The 75-year-old leader of South Staffordshire District Council and long-serving Staffordshire County Councillor - who also serves on Kinver Parish Council - said: “I am thrilled to bits and very proud. It’s just nice to be recognised for the work you do.

“As a councillor you don’t always get the credit for the good things, it’s mainly criticism for the not so good.

“I hope being awarded the MBE is the people’s way of saying that they are happy with the way we are looking after their interests.”

Based in Greensforge Lane in Stourton, Cllr Edwards has lived in Kinver parish for all his life and first started on the local council in 1982.

He has held a number of roles on both Staffordshire County and South Staffordshire District Councils, but said his number one aim was always to help those in his parish.

Cllr Edwards said: “I have always tried my best as a councillor, especially for the people of Kinver, as I was born and bred in the village.

“I have loved every moment of being a councillor, especially the feeling you get when you are doing something that will make a difference and helping people who mean so much to you.

“I am very pleased to have done all I can for the local people, but in my opinion, I have just done my job, which is giving people who are not as fortunate or have problems, the support they need.”

Cllr Edwards has been leader of the South Staffs authority for the last 10 years and has held his seat on the district council for 32 years.

He's also been a Staffordshire County Councillor for Kinver for 28 years but he added: “I have decided to retire from the county council at the end of this term. Mainly due to the regular travelling to Stafford which I struggle with now.

“It’s a young person’s game and I’ve done my time. I’m going to step away and let the new generation come through.

“I do have another three years on the district council, so I’ll take things from there. It will be nice to spend more time with my family as well as the things I do outside of council life.”

In addition to his council roles - Cllr Edwards is also a member of a number of local groups including Kinver Community Association.

He added: “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, whether that is the council work, being involved at Oldswinford Hospital, or being treasurer at Enville Church - where I was christened - which I have done for many years.

“It’s easy to find the time to be involved in all aspects of local life when you love it as much as I do.”