The youngest chair in the local authority’s history has taken the reins at Gwynedd Council.

Tregarth and Mynydd Llandygai Councillor Beca Roberts, 30, has been elected as Cyngor Gwynedd’s new chair.

Councillor Ioan Thomas for the Menai (Caernarfon) ward was also elected as the new vice-chair.

They were congratulated on taking up  their new roles by the retiring chair, Councillor R Medwyn Hughes for the Canol Bangor ward.

The chair and vice-chair received their chains of office at the beginning of the full council meeting in Caernarfon, on Thursday, May 9.

Cllr Hughes, stood down after chairing the council and representing the organisation at various events and special occasions.

Highlights of his time in office had included opening a new attraction at Zip World, the flood prevention scheme at Aberdyfi,  seeing the introduction of green buses, and welcoming the National Eisteddfodd to Gwynedd –  “one of the most successful ever,” he said.

The chair’s role had “not been easy,” and he thanked his assistants and colleagues for their help and support, saying: “I could not have done it without you.”

He also thanked the council members who had “allowed” him to be there and for their “good collaboration and behaviour  – well at least some of you,” he joked.

“It had been a great honour to represent Cyngor Gwynedd,  and I wish Beca well,” he told the meeting.

Cllr Roberts is originally from Dyffryn Ogwen, she has a strong interest environmental and community matters.

She studied Sustainability and Environmental Management at university,  and worked on projects and community initiatives.

On Cyngor Gwynedd she is a member of the Gwynedd and Anglesey Pensions Board, the Climate and Nature Emergency Board, the Democracy Committee and the Communities Scrutiny Committee.

She also works as a part-time case officer and Parliamentary assistant to the Senedd Member for Arfon, Siân Gwenllian, and has worked as a sustainability officer for Partneriaeth Ogwen and for Ynni Cymunedol Cymru as a membership and communications officer.

Cllr Roberts is also a former winner of of Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s Geraint George Scholarship, which aims to promote discussion and research on environmental issues.

Her other roles include chair of the governors at Ysgol Tregarth and Vice-chair of Cylch Meithrin, Tregarth.

She also volunteers to prepare and serve free Christmas dinners to residents at Caffi Blas Lôn Las in Tregarth every year.

Taking her seat at the meeting, she thanked Cllr Hughes, saying it had been “a great pleasure working with him”.

In a statement, she also said: “I feel strongly that having a diverse representation within local authorities is crucial.

“As a younger person, I believe that we have the ability to influence, open doors and encourage political interest among other young people.

“It was brilliant to win my seat on Gwynedd Council when a younger group of councillors were also elected.

“Now, 25% of Plaid Cymru’s Councillors in Gwynedd are under 40 years of age and 43% of us are women.

“Starting my political career with a younger group has been wonderful as we have been able to lean on each other and learn together.

“I am very fortunate to have a great team of council officers around me, and the experienced councillor, Ioan Thomas, Caernarfon to sit by my side, as the new vice-chair of the council.”

During the vote for her new role Beca Roberts gained 43 votes,  against Bro Dyssini ward councillor Beth Lawton, who achieved 19 votes.

In the vote for his position Cllr Thomas was elected with 23 votes,

against Cllr Elfed P Roberts, ward councillor for Trawsfynydd, who achieved 21 votes.