Over the past 5 years I hope I have achieved my aims of being approachable and my vision of using Social Media to relay information to the Ward has been successful.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I believe this was a first within our Ward.
When elected against what I thought was all odds of winning, I decided to walk the Ward as often as possible and try and support local businesses and donate to different causes behind the scenes, I wanted to be different in my approach.
The first year was a huge learning curve where I made a few mistakes and spent time trying to repair them along with making contacts to help me carry out my role as fluidly as possible as a newby.
Unfortunately I learnt from an early age that somethings can’t be repaired, but you can learn from them and move on, before it ties you down.
During my term I worked alongside the refuse and recycling crews to experience what it was like on the frontline.
From this I was instrumental in getting the caddy bags introduced throughout Torfaen and gained a massive respect for our frontline employees.
During my term a motion I submitted went forward and was passed, blocking access to Payday Loan companies from all Council IT Systems, helping to protect the most vunerable who access our systems, directing them instead to Credit Unions, who offer very low rates and advice.
As Mayor (The 5th from Abersychan Ward) I passed a ruling to ban all alcoholic drinks from being served within the Parlour and tried to bring a fresh outlook to the role, managing to support Pancreatic Cancer UK by lighting the iconic Folly Tower Purple as a beacon of hope on World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day 2015, with the help of local businesses. I was the first Torfaen Mayor to have a Twitter Account.
Along with my Colleagues we set up the Llanerch Memorial Fund, on the anniversary of the disaster we hold a memorial service at the site with local school children to raise awareness of what happened on that day and to pay our respects by the laying of flowers
With my colleagues, we came up with an idea to provide a free pantomime and goodie bags for children attending each year within the Ward, our children here shouldn’t miss out on this experience because of ridiculous pricing structures by many theatres, this year also I used some of my Local Voluntary Funding to cover the rent to keep our under threat play service in the Ward at two venues and together we covered costs of providing parties to celebrate the Queens Birthday, bringing our community together.
The past few years haven’t been easy, I have lost some friends and made many new ones, I’ve learnt to develop thicker skin, which I quickly learnt is needed in this role!
I have also learnt, that no matter that I reside in this area, was born here (The Unicorn on High Street) and call it my home, some people will always think the worst of you, whatever you try and do, they will always see another angle to attack, but that’s human nature and democracy.
Some will see this blog as electioneering others will see it being a review of snippets from the past few years.
However you see it, I’ve really enjoyed the past few years working for this Ward, have earned a real respect for my Ward Colleagues and feel blessed to have had this experience and opportunity to work closely with them, which was never really planned at all.