Cllr Bernard Willis' blog 2011-12.


Cllr Bernard Willis's year in office as Tredegar Town Mayor

Cllr Bernard Willis' blog 2011-12

Thursday 26th May 2011 was the Inauguration of Councillor Bernard Willis as Tredegar Town Mayor and Councillor Andrew Cotton as Tredegar Town Deputy Mayor. Councillor Willis will be active in our community during his Year in Office and hopes to give you a view of a Town Mayor's life by doing this blog.

Sunday 16th September 2012

I attended the Alzheimer's Society Cardiff Memory Walk which took place at Cooper's Field, Bute Park Cardiff. The event was a fun filled family day out which gave friends and family a chance to catch up and have some fun whilst fundraising. It was a fabulous day with live music and kid's entertainment. It was the ideal opportunity for me to present the cheque from my Mayor's Appeal, final total £8487.73 (including Barclays match funding), with the rugby ball signed by the Grand Slam winning Welsh Rugby Team. The Alzheimer's Society will be giving the rugby ball as a gift to the person who raised the most funds for this year's Memory Walk.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me raise this money, your support and help as been fantastic and the Alzheimer's Society were overwhelm by the amount raised. Once again thank you.

1st March 2012

Today, at noon, we drew the winning tickets for my Appeal's Raffle. The Draw took place in the Council Chamber, Bedwellty House Tredegar and we invited Donna Coughlin (Alzheimer's Society), Jim Davies, Phillip Skinner, Father John Davis, Rev. Mike Shephard and Cllr Andrew Cotton to monitor and help randomly draw the tickets. Winners of the prizes are as follows:-

1st Prize: London Theatre Weekend Break for 2 (Donated by Ron Skinner & Sons) - Marilyn Rees
2nd Prize: Helicopter Ride for 2 (Donated by Jim Davies Civil Engineering) - Beryl Bennett
3rd Prize: Photography session up to the value of £50 (Donated by Unique Photography Services) - Val Taylor
4th Prize: Meal for 2 & bottle of wine (Donated by Wetherspoons) - Stuart Price
5th Prize: £20 Voucher (Donated by The Sunshack) - Mr Ingram
6th Prize: £20 Meal Voucher (Donated by The Fir Tree Inn) - Maureen Beynon
7th Prize: £20 Voucher (Donated by Little Gems) - Mrs Basnett
8th Prize: Gift from Gemtime Jewellers - Andrew Smart
9th Prize: £20 Voucher (Donated by Cheveux Hair & Beauty Spot) - Mrs D Rowberry
10th Prize: Bouquet of Flowers (Donated by Park Place Florists) - Mrs M Bufton

Thank you to everyone who sold/bought the raffle tickets and for the generous donation of prizes. The Raffle raised £1500 for my Appeal.

24th February 2012

I was honoured that the The Patrick Sheen Singers were performing a concert for my Mayor's Appeal at St George's Church, Tredegar. It was a fabulous night of musical entertainment which was thoroughly enjoyed by everybody. The whole evening raised £575 for the Appeal and would not have taken place if it was not for Cllr Anita Hobbs and Father John Davis who between them both organised and choreographed the whole event - THANK YOU!

During the evening a small raffle was held with the following prizes generously donated as follows:-

1st Prize - £25 Gift Voucher - SunKissed Tanning
2nd Prize - Bouquet - Lily's Floral Design
3rd Prize - Cut & Blow Dry - Hairplay
4th Prize - £15 Gift Voucher - Air & Air Beauty
5th Prize - Meal for Two - Europa Café
6th Prize - Notebook - Heads of the valley Stationers
7th Prize - Box of Chocolates - The Sweet Stop
8th Prize - Box of Biscuits - Doreen Hall
9th Prize - Tin of Chocolates - Doreen Hall
10th Prize - Perfume Gift Set - Doreen Hall

Once again a big thanks to Cllr Anita Hobbs, Father John Davis, all who generously donated prizes and of course all those who supported the evening with their attendance.

18th February 2012

I had the pleasure of joining Tredegar Twinning Association for a Social Evening at Georgetown Community Centre and it was a fabulous evening. The entertainment was lively and a fantastic friendly atmosphere. It was a honour to present them with a grant from Town Council. Thank you all for a wonderful welcome and I cannot wait for the forthcoming visit from our French counterparts.

9th February 2012

I would like to send my sincere thanks to a Mrs E M Jones who so graciously made a donation of £100 to my Appeal. This wonderful lady sent the donation in the post but unfortunately there was no address included for me to send a thank you letter so I hope that this message will get passed on to Mrs Jones, THANK YOU for your wonderful and generous support.

4th January 2012

A New Year and a fresh start but I would just like to take this opportunity to reflect on my time as Tredegar Mayor so far. It has been a truly eye opening experience; I have met so many different people; found out about and experienced the many fabulous voluntary associations that are running in Tredegar; and have been amazed at the support and generousity shown by local residents for my Appeal. So far my appeal as reached £3577.59, raised via collections/raffles at my events or as donations from associations such as Saron Church, Bedwellty Bowls Club and from The Willows Sunday Quiz Night winning team The Clarets. But I have not stopped fundraising yet and I currently have raffle tickets available with fabulous prizes so visit my Appeal page for further info. Thank you all for the support shown so far.

24th December 2011

Once again this year myself, Town Councillors, members from Tredegar Town Band and members of Tredegar Youth Cafe visited local Residential Care Homes and Llys Glyncoed (Ebbw Vale). We entertained the residents with various Christmas Carols and luckily enough the wonderful voices of the choir drowned out the voices of us less able singers! We hope that the residents enjoyed the visits as much as we did and a big thank you to all those who gave up their time on Christmas Eve to spread the Christmas spirit and to Elite Bus Travel for supplying the buses.

12th December 2011

Well what a busy evening it has been! First it was off to Tredegar Leisure Centre to present a grant cheque to the North Gwent Table Tennis Centre and I had a warm welcome from its members. It was great to see some of Tredegar's sporting stars in action. Grant Presentations 2011-12.

Off to the Rhyd Hall next and I was honoured to be asked to present awards to the Young Fire Fighters. It was a lovely evening and I just want to say well done to you all, you are committed to the roles and you all deserve recognition.

7th December 2011

Tredegar Town Council held a Presentation Evening in The Carriage Room at Bedwellty House this evening and it was an absolute privilege to give out Grant cheques to local Associations and Awards to local residents who have made a contribution to the community. There are some truly committed and caring people who will do their utmost for their friends and the community and to be able to recognise them for all they work is but a small thank you compared to what they deserve. Well done to you all, keep up the good work!

Presentation Evening Gallery

4th December 2011

Well what a sight it was to see so many Santas running around the lake at Parc Bryn Bach. It was a sea of red & white passing the Visitor Centre has all those participating in the Hospice Of The Valleys Sponsored Santa Run put all their efforts in to this fun race on a chilly day. The enthusiasm was amazing and it was clear to me that everyone involved throughly enjoyed the day. Well done to the Hospice and to all those who took part. Santa Run 2011

25th November 2011

Well what a night, no snow but that did not stop Santa coming to town to meet the Dragons! I must say a big thank you to Ben Castle and Tom Willis from the Gwent Dragons for coming to help us Switch On our Christmas Lights, they were two smashing blokes and a hit with the crowd. And yes once again this year there was a fantastic crowd around the Clock for the switch on, it must be said that Tredegar people really do show their support to their town and its events, thank you all.

The musical entertainment seemed to get people into the Christmas spirit and we hope that this year's fabulous lights keep those spirits bright over the festive period. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all.

Christmas Lights 2011

19th November 2011

I was honoured to be asked to open the Tredegar Camera Club Exhibtion being held in The Gwent Shopping Centre. There is such a variety of photographs on display and they show the skill of these amateurs photographs, a skill which I really do lack!! Well done to all those involved and I hope you have high footfall coming to your exhibition.

13th November 2011

Wow what an amazing turn out there was for this year's Remembrance Sunday Service! It was a packed house in St. James Church for the Service led by Father John Davis and once again it was a truly touching commemoration of those who lost their lives for their country. Following the Service, the congregation moved as a Parade from St. James Church to the War Memorial in Bedwellty Park, led by the Drum Section of Tredegar Town Band. At the War Memorial I helped Mr Clarry Jones - on his 90th Birthday - lay a wreath on behalf of Tredegar Town Council, it was a privilege.

Remembrance Sunday 2011

11th November 2011

The Armistice Service, organised by the Royal British Legion Tredegar Branch, was held in the Gwent Shopping Centre. Father John Davis led the moving Service which was followed by the Last Post played at 11am. It was lovely to see the support shown by Tredegar residents and a fair sized crowd was present. Thank you to the R.B.L. and Fthr Davis for all their good work.

Following the Armistice Service I joined a group of various people, at the Top House in Trefil, to trek up the mountain to lay a wreath on the T2520 Bomber Cairn Memorial. Despite the arduous climb I feel it is always well worth it just to be able to pay our respects to those who lost theirs lives for their country.

Armistice Day 2011

29th October 2011

It is always a privilege and honour to attend the Blaenau Gwent Otters Presentation Evening. Every member commits themselves to this wonderful group and put their heart and soul into the competitions. Well done to you all and thank you for a very enjoyable evening. Good luck for future competitions and keep up the good work.

15th October 2011

Today was my Charity Golf Day at Tredegar & Rhymney Golf Club and I must say we all had a fabulous time. I cannot thank enough all those that took part and all those that helped to get it all sorted, its thanks to those amazing people who so generously give up their free time that make fund raising events like this such a success - THANK YOU! Please read my Golf Day Report.

8th October 2011

Tonight was the Annual Concert of Tredegar Orpheus Male Voice Choir at Tredegar Leisure Centre. As always they sounded fantastic and provided such a brilliant evening of musical entertainment, thank you for the invite.

15th September 2011

As a thank you to 2167 Squadron ATC, for all their support and attendance at Town Council events, Tredegar Town Council opened the Town Clock just for them to climb. Once they all completed the climb I presented each member with a Certificate to commemorate the experience and also a grant cheque from Town Council. It was an enjoyable experience for all but I must say I kept my feet firmly on the ground floor! Mayors Presentations and Visits 2011-12/Grant Presentations 2011-12.

11th September 2011

Kym and I attended The Mayor of Nantyglo and Blaina's Civic Sunday, a lovely time was had by all.

10th September 2011

I, along with a number of Town Councillors, opened the clock to visitors. What a hard but rewarding day and I believe 122 members of the public climbed the clock including a 2yr old and 3yr old child. A special thanks to Ken Price who once again volunteered to help us, you are a star mate.

7th September 2011:-

On Saturday 18th September 2011 the Alzheimer's Society will be holding a Memory Walk in Cardiff. Over 350 have registered so far and there is still plenty of time for you to take part too. Registration is in the main the foyer of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama between 9.30am until 11.45am with the actual walk starting at 11.30am. Further information is available on this Memory Walk leaflet. Please if you can show your support to the Alzheimer's Society then register today or turn up on 18th September 2011.

28th August 2011

Another sad day, the final service of Harcourt Terrace Chapel. I along with a packed congregation was moved by this solemn service, a sad day but it showed the strong Christian feeling in Tredegar that will continue.

23rd August 2011

Along with my consort Kym I attended the Official Opening of Bedwelty House and Park, what a Jewel in the Crown it is. The people of Tredegar deserve the best and in the Park they have this. But it's our park and we must protect it, it is everyone's duty to report any damage or vandalism because if we don't no one else will.

16th August 2011

Along with Cllr Trollope I presented grants to Tredegar Athletic Club and Bill Harry Court Tenants & Residents Association. Thank you for the warm welcome we received at both. Grant Presentations 2011-12.

15th August 2011

A very sad day, I attended the funeral of a dear friend and exCouncillor Ron Jenkins. Ron was a custodian of Tredegar, be it from the Park to the library Ron was seen everywhere making sure the powers to be were doing the best for Tredegar. My memory of Ron was always seeing him with his beloved camera and I will miss him.

12th August 2011

Along with Cllrs Cross and Trollope I went to Caldicott Bowls Club to present the Cup to the winners of the Monmouthshire Cup (that was first given by Lord Tredegar to the Association). For the fourth year in a row the winners were RTB'S Ebbw Vale, well done all that was involved.

9th August 2011

I gave grants to the following organisations : Tredegar Quitting Circle, Tredegar & District Canine society and Kidz R Us. Wow, I could not believe how busy these organisations are especially Kidz R Us, it was packed and what a remarkable job they do.

3rd August 2011

I had the pleasure, along with the Mayor of Blaenau Gwent, to present Mrs Steed of Stockton Way with a bouquet of flowers on her 102nd Birthday. A truly remarkable lady who I loved chatting to and hearing her recollections of Tredegar past.

27th July 2011:-

I wish to express my sincere thanks to Councillor Brian Scully, Able Touch Joinery Ltd, Clairtex (Gwent) Ltd and R. E. Rice Jones for their fabulous donations to my Appeal. It is generous donations like these that make it possible for the Alzheimer's Society to offer its vital services and support to people with dementia and their families.

The Blaenau Gwent Branch of the Alzheimer's Society hold regular support meetings - the Carers Support Group 1.30pm to 3pm at Ysbytyr Tri Chwm Hospital on the last Monday of the month and also the Memory Cafe 10.30am to 1.30pm at WOAP Hall, Raglan Terrace, Beaufort on the last Friday of the month. Everyone affected by dementia, their families and friends are welcome so please come along for a cuppa and a chat.

27th July 2011:-

I had the pleasure of presenting a grant cheque to Mrs Holley, 96yrs young, the longest serving member of Peacehaven Tenants & Residents Neighbourhood Watch Association. Again what a great organisation, they truly know how to have fun and Anne Ingram is a great ambassador for them in the community.

25th July 2011:-

Councillor H Trollope came with me to present a grant cheque to Tredegar Amateur Boxing Club. It was great to see the respect the youngsters have for Steve and the other organisers, what a brilliant job they are doing.

18th July 2011:-

Along with other Councillors I went and presented a grant cheque to Sirhowy Tenants & Residents Association. I was presently surprised at the activities there, what a great friendly group they are

13th/14th July 2011:-

I gave grant cheques to the following groups : Tredegar Archive Group, Tredegar Angling Club and the Gardening Club - where I met Audrey Jenkins from the Gazette for the first time and I must say she is a lovely person.

12th July 2011:-

I went to present Tredegar Youth Cafe their grant cheque and to see all the kids enjoying themselves was a picture and we watched the great films that the Spirit of Bevan as made (just type "Made in Tredegar" on UTube) with the kids from the Youth Cafe. Gaynor and the crew do a great job in the cafe and we will continue to support them.

10th July 2011:-

On Sunday 10th July 2011 I had the pleasure of attending the Blaenau Gwent's Mayor's Civic Sunday Service in Zion Congregational Church. Councillor Michael J. Bartlett kindly invited myself and Tredegar Mayoress Kym Lewis to attend the Service with many guests including the Mayors of the neighbouring boroughs.

Blaenau Gwent's Mayor Councillor Bartlett was accompanied by his granddaughter who has taken on the role of Mayoress. Sheridan Bartlett is believed to be the youngest Mayoress in the Country at the young age of 19. It was good to see someone so young take an interest in politics and shine as a role model for many in the borough. May I wish her all the best in her role as Blaenau Gwent's Mayoress and hope that she will be an inspiration to others to follow in her footsteps.

9th July 2011:-

Along with other Councillors I attended a Twinning Association fund raising event in the Moose Lodge, where I presented them with a cheque for the work they had done with some children of the town. A GREAT NIGHT would recommend it for a fun friendly night out.

8th July 2011:-

We (Kym and I) attend St Joseph School fete, we was met by Brian Holland a governor who showed us around the school, the fete was great, loved the homemade food( cakes my fav) a lovely day had by all.

4th July 2011:-

I attended an Alzheimer's awareness event at Venue1, it really showed he need for this great organization, a big thank you to Venue 1 (kids r us) for hosting.

27th/30th June 2011:-

Along with Cllr Trollope I went to two Roadshows by the Hospice of the Valleys, one in Morrison's Supermarket and the other in the Gwent Shopping Precinct. It showed me the high regard the people have for the Hospice and the work they do.

26th June 2011:-

We held a Service in St James' Church to mark the return of the Casket that holds the earth from Tredegar Hill. This was followed by a parade down to Bedwelty House. To finish off a beautiful but solemn day we had a band concert by our own Tredegar Town Band in memory of ex Councillor and first Mayor of Tredegar Town Council Alan Fox. It was to an audience of over a 100 people. The Band showed why they are one of the best bands in the world, it was a fitting memorial for a truly remarkable man. During the concert a collection was made in aid of my Mayor's Appea,l for the Alzheimers Society, and a fabulous £155 was colllected. Thank you to everyone who supported both events and for graciously donating to my Appeal.

18th June 2011:-

Armed Forces Day at Parc Bryn Bach and despite the awful weather we went ahead with the event. One of the highlights was the RAF Griffin helicopter which flew in special for the event and I must say those airmen can land that helicopter successfully on a pin head they are that good! A big thank you to all that took part including the Mayor of Blaenau Gwent and the other Mayors of the neighbbouring Blaenau Gwent towns but a special thank you to Christine for all her hard work.

11th June 2011:-

I along with Cllrs Howells, Tippings and Trollope had the pleasure of going to the Ironsides Rugby Club's Annual Presentations and it showed how they have come through a very difficult season due to injuries and have definitely come out stronger.

In this era when all clubs are struggling it is great to see this Club going from strength to strength and that's not luck. It is all because of the commitment of all the people involved from the management and backroom people to the players. Everyone is there because they love the Club and not for monetary gain and I believe time will show that way is the right way because money don't buy loyalty. Everyone at the Club are winners but the ones who had awards on the night are:

Steven Cosh (Most Improved), Johnny Hallett (Coaches Award - Forwards), Daniel Edwards (Coaches Award - Backs), Mark Williams (Club Man), Greg Monaghan (T. Gregory Award), Jason Jones (Players' Player), Daniel Price (Player of the Year).

A big thank you to all that's involved in this wonderful Club and all the best for the new season.

8th June 2011:-

Kym and I went to the Annual Abertillery Sports Personality Awards run by Abertillery Town Council. We had a lovely welcome and a great night was had by all, well done to everyone involved and congratulations to all the winners.

4th June:-

Along with other Councillors I had the pleasure of being at the Preview Opening of Bedwelty House and Park. Although it is not the finished article, with the most of the House remaining closed during the event, the Park was fully open to everyone to wander around and we could see the great work that has been done. It was good to see the children enjoying the Park again and using the activities provided for the day and Mountain FM filled the air with music. We cannot wait to see how the House will look once finished and over the next year I'm sure the Park will flourish and once again become a jewel for Tredegar.

1st June 2011:

Along with Councillor H Trollope (previous Mayor) I went and presented a grant cheque to Hospice of the Valleys at their Tredegar Offices. Cllr Trollope was there to present the money he had raised during his year as Mayor, a grand total of £4413.08 well done Haydn. On this visit we also had the opportunity to view the plans for their new centre which will be sited in Ebbw Vale and this state of the art modern building will enhance and enrich the brilliant services they offer.

Thursday 26th May 2011 - Inauguration

I had my Inauguration Meeting tonight at the home of Tredegar Town Council, Bedwellty House in Bedwelty Park and I must say thank you to all that made that possible. As the House was not quite ready for public use, we had the social part of the Meeting in the Moose No1 Lodge. Another a big thank you this time to the Moose members for the warm welcome received by myself and guests. It was there I announced my chosen Charity for my Mayor's Appeal which is the Alzheimer's Society. I would guess everyone here has been affected by Alzheimer's one way or another as it is not an illness suffered solely by the person it as great affect on the families too. Here are some very sad statistics:

  • There are currently 750,000 people with dementia in the UK.
  • There are over 16,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.
  • There will be over a million people with dementia by 2021.
  • Two thirds of people with dementia are women.
  • One third of people over 95 have dementia.
  • 60,000 deaths a year are directly attributed to dementia.

So you can see how worthwhile this charity is and they need all the help they can get to fight this disabling disease. I have a number of fundraising events planned, one of which is a Golf day at Tredegar & Rhymney Golf course, and as soon as the details for these events are set they will be added to my Mayor's Appeal page. If you wish to get involved in any of the events or make a donation to my Appeal please contact the Town Council offices.

I am sure I will be very busy representing the Town Council, from meeting foreign dignitaries to children from local schools. One of the highlights so far that I am looking forward to is the Armed Forces Day on Saturday 18th June 2011 in aid of Help for Heroes in Parc Bryn Bach and I hope you will be able to join us there too. Photographs of visits will be added to the Gallery as soon as possible and a Diary covering the functions I have attended will be updated as I go through the year. So keep checking this site for more information and if you have an event that you would like me to attend please contact the Town Council.

Lastly can I say how proud I am to be able to represent the good people of Tredegar and I will do my best to uphold the tradition of past Mayors.