Mayor's Blog

Mayor Ken Jones

Councillor Ken Jones states that it is an honour and a privilege to be the Mayor of Nantyglo and Blaina 2019-20 and will carry out that duty to the best of his ability. Originally from Ebbw Vale, Councillor Jones has lived in Nantyglo for the last 23 years and is married to Joyce. They have 13 grandchildren between them.

Councillor Jones worked in the Engineering Department of British Steel for many years before being made redundant. He then qualified as a Social Worker and worked for Gwent County Council in the Blaenau Gwent area for 27 years.

Previously, Councillor Jones has been a Councillor for Blaenau Gwent Borough Council and also as a Retained Fireman with Gwent Fire Brigade. He is a Justice of the Peace and has sat on Gwent Magistrates Bench for 16 years and is currently a School Governor at Coed y Garn Primary School.

Councillor Jones’ chosen charity for his Mayoral Appeal 2019-20 is the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or CAB. He says that we can all face problems that seem complicated and intimidating especially during these times of austerity, Universal Credit, payday loans and other financial problems that result in stress and worry too many households. The CAB however offer free, impartial, sound advice with any problems you may encounter not just financial.

2019/2020


20th October 2019

Civic Sunday held at Wesley Methodist Church, Nantyglo. The service was officiated by Reverend Cheryl Lewis and Reverend Roy Watson. Refreshments were later served at Nantyglo Rugby Club.
Dedication and unveiling of a memorial bench commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the conflicts and defence of our country. In attendance were the High Sheriff of Gwent, Dame Claire Clancy and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Mrs Susan Gwyer-Roberts.


3rd September 2019

Attended a ceremony held on the Square in Blaina (next to the Red Lion) to mark Red Ensign Day to commemorate the sea men of the Merchant Navy. The Red Ensign was raised outside the Council Chamber. The service was conducted by Reverend Cheryl Lewis.
The awards for Nantyglo and Blaina in Bloom 2019 were made in the Council Chamber. The winners were presented with a trophy and certificate by the High Sheriff of Gwent, Dame Claire Clancy and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Mrs Susan Gwyer-Roberts.


20th July 2019


Invited to attend the Bahai’i Group of Nantyglo and Blaina’s day of music at Blaina Community Centre in aid of the local food bank. The Deputy Mayor attended in my absence.


7th July 2019

Attended the NHS/Aneurin Bevan Day held at Bedwellty Park, the guest speaker was Keir Starmer MP.


5th July 2019

Attended a celebration dinner commemorating Aneurin Bevan’s part in the formation of our NHS. The guest speaker was Lord Kinnock.


3rd July 2019

Attended Reverend Roy Watson’s 50th anniversary celebration of his ordination. Due to Roy’s dedication to our community, he was recently given the freedom of Blaina and Nantyglo and can now drive his sheep through the town unchallenged! Reverend Roy Watson is also the Mayor’s Chaplain.


30th June 2019

Invited by Tredegar Council to celebrate Armed Forces Day at Bedwellty House and Park. The occasion was well attended, and everyone was entertained by the band of the Royal Welsh Regiment, the sun actually shone as well!


28th June 2019

National care home day. I visited Cwmcelyn Nursing home Blaina and was greeted by one of the directors. I was given a tour of the home and met several residents and their families. The home is part of the SHAW group and recently merged with BUPA and own 80 homes. Cwmcelyn Home employs 40 staff, the majority of which are local.

9th November 2019:

I attended the Blaina Community Centre where an information display day took place. Many local organizations took part and had stands showing their contribution to life in the Nantyglo and Blaina area.

10th November 2019:

I attended the Armistice day Parade which assembled on the Garn in Nantyglo and proceeded to the remembrance service at the cenotaph in Central Park Blaina. Following the service which was officiated by the Rev Cheryl Lewis and Rev Roy Watson a commemorative Bench was unveiled and dedicated to the fallen who died for the freedom of future generations.

I was privileged alongside The Deputy Lord lieutenant of Gwent, Susan Gwyer Roberts to take the salute at the march past. A big thank you to the British Legion for organising the day, the staff and children of the schools of the area and Blaina Town band for their invaluable contribution to the ceremony.

26th November 2019:

A full Council meeting took place away from the Council Chamber in line with the policy of taking the council closer to the community. On this occasion, the meeting took place in Nantyglo at the Llys Nant-y-Mynydd complex and was chaired by the Deputy Mayor, Des Hillman in my absence.

27th November 2019:

Christmas Carol Concerts were held at Gladstone St Chapel Blaina. The afternoon service was for Ysgol Bro Helyg school and the evening service was for Ystruth primary school. Santa attended and gave out chocolate selection boxes to every child.

28th November 2019:

Christmas Carol concerts were held at Wesley church Nantyglo. Blaen-y-Cwm School attended the afternoon concert and Coed-y-Garn school the evening service, once again Santa gave out selection boxes and the services were conducted by the Rev Gareth Edwards our thanks to him, the staff of all schools and to the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent Susan Gwyer Roberts for her attendance.

2nd December 2019:

Santa took to the streets of Nantyglo in his Sleigh to give out sweets along the route. He finally ended up at Nantyglo Rugby club where he had his Grotto for the children and all enjoyed an evening of entertainment.

3rd December 2019:

Santa once again took to the streets this time in Blaina to give out sweets along the way. His Grotto was in St Peters Church and both nights were well attended with plenty of stalls displaying their Christmas wares. Entertainment was provided by excellent Blaina Town band and the Katy Treharne young singers. Thanks to Des Ward for the PA and music system. Thanks also to Cllr Lisa Winnett for towing and providing the sleigh (although she found it little tiring). Gratitude also to P C Richard Lewis and the Community Support Officers for safely escorting us around the routes.

7th December 2019:

Attended the Salvation Army Carol concert at the Citadel Abertillery. Musical numbers were provided by the army band and the very busy Blaina town Band.

2020

Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus pandemic all events planned for the first half of the year have either been cancelled or postponed, these include the Celebration of Achievement awards, the schools' talent showcase evening, the VE day celebrations and the Nantyglo and Blaina in Bloom competition.

Personally I fulfilled one of my bucket list wishes and that was to visit Egypt and see the Sphinx and Pyramids, we managed to do this but the holiday was cut short due to COVID 19 and the Tour company brought us home early, we were on one of the last flights out of Egypt to Heathrow. We still had a lot to see but very, very glad to be home given the circumstances.

May I wish everyone good health during these challenging times and may I state my gratitude to everyone working to keep us healthy, safe, fed and protected during this difficult time.