Agenda item

To receive any announcements from the Mayor Councillor M Jones


The Mayor gave the following outgoing speech.


‘It has certainly been a privilege and honour to fulfil the role of Mayor of the County Borough of Bridgend


Before I summarise this remarkable journey, I would like to tell you of an incredible event that was held here in the Council Chamber.


On the 14 April we held an adoptions ceremony in the Civic Offices. An event that ended an adoption process for special young people.

We can all recognise that the Councils Social Services Directorate has been under the spotlight recently, perhaps for some wrong reasons, but this event just illustrates the ongoing incredible work that is undertaken to support young children who perhaps have not had the best start in life.


Seven individual families visited the Council Chamber. Proud extended families who it was a pleasure to meet. The love and adoration shown to the children was palpable and watching them run around the Chamber, some of which sat in the Mayor’s chair wearing the Mayoral chain with pride and  making good use of this wooden gravel hammer was a joy to watch.


I have no hesitation in admitting that on some occasions whilst conducting the official business of the event I had difficulty in managing my own emotions.


Could I thank all those who were involved in this incredible event, especially our Director Clare Marchant and Cabinet Member / Deputy Leader Councillor Jane Gebbie, you have certainly made a difference, so congratulations to all.


It has been an incredible year. Being able to attend so many events both within the County Borough and beyond has been wonderful. Can I thank all those for inviting me to your special occasions?


From community events to schools and colleges, charitable events, to evening concerts and many award ceremonies. I was always greeted with politeness and appreciation.


If there is one message, I can convey to others is that this County Borough is enriched with incredible people who are both Proud and Positive. All to often the news / media concentrate on the negative aspects of modern life.


Perhaps, just perhaps, they could get out into communities and meet these incredible people who make a positive contribution to society. People who do not seek reward or recognition but get on with daily life to support others.


Our Annual Mayoral Awards process clearly identifies this positivity.


So, members continue to make those nominations, every ward, every town has that community champion.


The passing of Queen Elizabeth II was sudden and unexpected. A sad and solemn period for us all.


Bridgend County Borough like all other areas across the Commonwealth was in a state of mourning. I attended many church and cathedral services and witnessed at first hand the community respect that was shown to the late sovereign.


To read the proclamation to announce the passing of the longest reigning Monarch and to commence the beginning of the reign of a new King, King Charles III was an honour.


Representation from Town and Community Councils outside Civic Offices for the proclamation ceremony just illustrated the unique partnership and togetherness that exists within this fine County Borough.


Can I take this opportunity to thank Councillor Andrew James the Town Mayor of Maesteg for his friendship and invitation to many events in the Llynfi Valley


Likewise, to Councillor Leanne Lewis at Pencoed Town Council and Councillor Mark Chegwen at Porthcawl Town Council. Finally, also to Councillor Tim Wood Mayor of Bridgend Town Council and his consort Clare.


Councillor Wood and I, were able to attend many events together where we both had a shared desire to not only promote Bridgend Town but the whole of the County Borough. It was clear to me that Councillor Wood had great pride in the Town and Borough. Although I shudder with despair any video footage that may be available of our attempts to Folk Dance wearing our respective Chains of Office.


I deliberately set out to not proactively promote the Mayor’s Charity this year. With an ever- increasing cost of living crisis with some families struggling to put food on the table it did not feel right to do so. I purposely set out to attend as many local charitable functions as I could to help promote Charites who support those most vulnerable.


However, we did raise the sum of over £2,500.00 which will be allocated to a Ukrainian based charity.


A big thank you to all those who donated, including to the Council Dragon where £130 was collected for charity following the guessing of its name, which was ‘Dewi’, as correctly selected by Councillor H Griffiths.


Also, many thanks to all the team who supported me during the previous year.


Rachel, Ruth, Nimi and the Benjamin Button of the Authority Mark Galvin. Apologies if I have missed anyone out.


There is one member of the team who is that vital cog in the support machine for myself


Roger Harrison who is not only the Mayoral Chauffeur but Personal Assistant, Organiser, Speech advisor and the person you need at your side whatever the event.


Mr Harrison is an asset to this Authority, his professionalism and attention to detail is recognised well beyond the boundary of the County Borough.


To all members in the Chamber whether virtual or otherwise who supported and allowed me to be your Mayor. I hope that I have been able to represent you with integrity, pride, and passion.


The Office of Mayor has many functions apart from Civic responsibilities, for me the necessity to maintain the integrity of this chamber is paramount, to ensure that all members can represent their wards whatever their political position and to contribute to a debate.


The whole purpose of this chamber surely is to work together, to provide public representation and put the citizen first when we try to do the very best for the County Borough.


I trust I have been able to facilitate this during my term of office. So once again thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be your Mayor for 2022/2023.