Friday, 1 September 2017

Merchant Navy Day

Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day

Merchant Navy Day is celebrated across the UK on September 3rd. It was introduced in 2000 in honour of those who helped keep us afloat in wartime and continue to supply us with some 95% of our imports. A growing number of councils show their support for the day by flying the Red Ensign, the official flag of the Merchant Navy.

TCBC are flying the flag, and Cwmbran Community Council held a full flag hoisting ceremony this morning at the Council House.


For more information on the day and how you can get involved, click the banner below:
Merchant Navy Day






Out and About in Torfaen




Thursday, 31 August 2017

CCYP - Cwmbran Centre for Young People

CCYP - Cwmbran Centre for Young People - was established in 2000 and has grown from strength to strength. This year they became the first organisation in Wales to achieve the Gold Quality Mark for youth work, and they engage with hundreds of young people every week both on site and via commissioned projects like the school counselling service.

I used to volunteer there myself, a vague number of years ago that will make me feel less old (!), and I'm on the management committee this year - so I can speak firsthand as to the excellent work they do and the life changing outcomes they achieve for young people in Torfaen. Because in addition to providing a safe environment for young people to hang out and spend time with friends, the centre also provides support ranging from alternative education provision, to work based learning, to a food bank and help with setting up home.

We popped in yesterday for the open day to mark the relaunching of the centre, complete with new logo, opening of the Pump It Up! gym, and the most gorgeous mural on the outside wall. Seriously, if you have chance, go and take a look at it - it's amazing! (If you're not familiar with the centre, it's next to the Leisure @ Cwmbran complex, just across the road from Wetherspoons.)

For more info on the centre, give them a follow on Twitter and Facebook!


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Out and About in Torfaen







Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Torfaen Residents' Survey 2017

If you have a spare ten minutes, fill out this year's residents' survey to help Torfaen County Borough Council determine whether or not council policy is making a difference on the ground. Here's the official survey blurb:

Residents Survey 2017 

Our annual residents survey is your opportunity to tell us whether the actions we are taking on your behalf are making a difference to the lives of the people living in Torfaen. This year the survey is a lot shorter and focuses on the key priorities of the council:

 - creating a clean, green Torfaen
 - supporting our most vulnerable residents
 - raising educational attainment

Following the feedback from the last survey we have taken a number of measures based on what people said including:


  • the Torfaen spring clean - a deep cleanse of the borough including roadside verges and open spaces and events to support communities to improve their local environment 
  • provided extra funding to enable stronger enforcement of dog fouling and litter 
  • provided £1 million extra funding to help improve roads in the borough 
  • focussed our capital investment on improving our school buildings 
  • invested extra funding for social care services to vulnerable residents.


Click here to complete the survey in English.



Arolwg Trigolion 2017 

Ein harolwg trigolion blynyddol yw eich cyfle chi i ddweud wrthym os yw’r camau rydym yn eu cymryd ar eich rhan yn gwneud gwahaniaeth i fywydau pobl sy’n byw yn Nhorfaen. Eleni, mae’r arolwg yn llawer byrrach ac yn canolbwyntio ar flaenoriaethau allweddol y cyngor:

 - creu Torfaen lân a gwyrdd
 - cynorthwyo’r trigolion sydd fwyaf agored i niwed
 - codi cyrhaeddiad addysgol

Ar ôl yr adborth o’r arolwg diwethaf, rydym wedi cymryd nifer o fesurau yn seiliedig ar yr hyn ddwedodd pobl, gan gynnwys:


  • glanhau mawr y gwanwyn - glanhau’r fwrdeistref yn drwyadl gan gynnwys ymylon ffyrdd a mannau agored, a digwyddiadau i gynorthwyo cymunedau i wella eu hamgylchedd lleol 
  • darparu cyllid ychwanegol i alluogi gorfodi rheolau baw cŵn a sbwriel yn gryfach 
  • £1 filiwn yn ychwanegol i helpu ffyrdd yn y fwrdeistref 
  • canolbwyntio ein buddsoddiad cyfalaf ar wella adeiladau ysgol 
  • buddsoddi cyllid ychwanegol ar gyfer gwasanaethau gofal cymdeithasol i drigolion sy’n agored i niwed 


Cwblhewch yr arolwg yn Gymraeg.



The closing date for the survey is September 30th.

Also, if one survey just isn't enough, check out the Torfaen Peoples' Panel.



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Out and About in Torfaen







Friday, 25 August 2017

Pride Cymru

TCBC Rainbow Flag Day

We can't get to this year's Pride march in Cardiff, but we did get involved with some fundraising this morning. TCBC flew the Rainbow Flag and staff wore rainbow clothes and accessories to raise money for Stonewall Cymru.

Marianna with Stonewall Poster

Monday, 21 August 2017

Parkinson's UK - Torfaen Support Group

We were recently invited to a fundraising tea for Parkinson's UK, organised by the Torfaen Support Group. Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition - there is currently no cure, and it is not yet known why people get it. This makes funding for research absolutely vital.

There were over 90 sufferers, carers, and supporters in attendance for a gorgeous tea followed by strawberries and ice cream. Over £540 was raised and that amount looks set to more than double after local supermarkets pledged a day for bucket collections in the near future!

We had a great time and, for the first time since becoming Mayor, I actually won a raffle prize! Marianna chose from the table, and picked out some bubble bath. Only she can use it though, apparently, because it was her 'present'. Who am I to argue??

The next event is a concert at St. Alban's R.C. High School on Friday 10th November. Tickets cost £5 - you can purchase from the school or contact lenburbidge@hotmail.co.uk.

For more information, check out www.parkinsons.org.uk.

For more info on the Torfaen Support Group, click HERE. They meet the third Thursday of every month, 2:30 - 4:30pm, at The Log Cabin in Penygarn.




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Out and About in Torfaen






Thursday, 13 July 2017

Trolley Free

this is a trolley free zone

We went out this morning with Bron Afon's neighbourhood caretaker team to deliver a new poster to help tackle abandoned trolleys. It has been a longstanding problem in Cwmbran - we're sadly renowned as one of the worst areas in the UK for it - and Northville is a particular hotspot. In one day alone 229 abandoned trolleys were counted around the estate.

Everyone knows why it happens: a high concentration of supermarkets in a small area, easy pedestrian access, and the low car ownership among residents. What is more difficult is coming up with a workable solution to the problem.

Trolleywise collection service work with a number of the stores, and have just signed a contract with Morrisons which will hopefully have a big impact over the coming weeks. The Bron Afon leaflet lists contact information for Cwmbran stores, or you can also use the Trolleywise app to report trolleys for Asda and Morrisons.

We had a pretty good response on the doorstep, and walking back we saw that a few people had already put the poster up in their windows. Fingers crossed it will have a positive impact!

Bron Afon trolley poster




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Out and About in Torfaen







Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Pontypool Town Educational Digital Resource

Pontypool Town Educational Digital Resource

I was up at Pontypool Museum this morning for the launch of the Pontypool Town Educational Digital Resource - otherwise known as the Townscape Heritage Initiative Educational Resource. That's a bit of a mouthful but, basically, it's a new online tool for schools, students, and anybody else interested in the history of Pontypool.


The base of activity is the website - www.pontypoolmuseum.org.uk/thi - which has a page for each module or topic. These include Pontypool Town Centre, Pontypool Park and The Hanbury Family, Pontypool and Japanware, Pontypool Market, Pontypool Townscape Heritage Initiative, and 21st Century Pontypool. Each module is supported with worksheets, downloadable resources, digital heritage trails (which have their own app), and online games. I particularly like the town jigsaw and the Georgian or Victorian? architecture games! :)

Georgian or Victorian architectural Features Game

The other great feature is that alongside the teaching guides and suggested activities are a wealth of copyright free primary sources available to download, ranging from maps to historical photographs. Obviously these will support learning, but can also serve as the basis for arts and crafts projects both in and out of school.


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Out and About in Torfaen







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