From the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent to the High Sheriff, the Mayor of Torfaen along with other Mayors have played an important role in the integral running of protocols and Local Government since 1974 ensuring that the constitution is upheld along with promoting social inclusion and building relationships and partnerships between individuals and organisations.
This is something I fear will now be ripped out by austerity and will eventually lead to a breakdown with local groups, High Sheriffs and the Lord Lieutenant.
The Mayor builds bridges and links in with the other tiers of Local Government, I was blessed to make history in Torfaen, following my father in the role, so I had a lot of experience and understood what was required as soon as I signed the declaration.
I promoted local groups and invited them to tour the building and learn its history and the democratic processes involved.
The Mayor usually attends around 350 plus engagements per term of office, invited by local businesses, charity groups and various organisations within the borough and further afield.
Abersychan ward was unique by providing the borough with 5 Mayors over the years.
The Coat of Arms on the Mayoral Chain and the Civic Centre displays Blue wavy lines which represent the Afon Lwyd (Welsh for Grey River) which runs the length of Gwent’s Eastern Valley; the rising sun depicts new authority and its terrain; black diamonds on the shield depict coal; wheat sheaves represent the Borough’s agriculture; the crow derives from Cwmbran (Welsh for Valley of the Crow (or black bird)), being the traditional emblem of the town; vases carried by crows depict Pontypool Japanware, one of the area’s most famous industries of the past.
The chains were presented to the Mayor and Mayoress of Torfaen, Councillor and Mrs D B Richards, by Mr G R Packer, Managing Director of Girling Limited.
The Mayors chain is 18ct Hall Marked Gold with thirty four links approximately 5′ 0″ in length and the Mayoresses chain 18ct Hall Marked Gold approximately 3′ 6″ in length.
Councillor Richards was an employee of Girling Limited with over thirty-two years service. Since 1948 he was Branch Secretary of the A.E.W.U at Cwmbran, and a Union Convenor between 1946 and his retirement in November 1974.
Although personally I am upset by the decision as a former Mayor, I understand the pressure the Leader and Cabinet are under, looking to save every penny to protect our frontline services, putting my own feelings aside, I have no option but to put my faith in their decision and support them during these difficult times.
Some of the public might see the Mayoral Role as a luxury we can do without, but time will tell if the right decision has been made.