I am honoured to be Mayor of Abergavenny for the 2023/24 term. I was born Abergavenny, and lived in Blaenavon, and I have fond memories of travelling to the Tuesday market, walking around the market hall and seeing all the incredible stalls with fresh produce from the local area. It was our dream to move back here once we retired and we’ve been blown away with the welcome we received.
So, how do you become mayor?
I was first elected as a town councillor, so 17 of us represent the centre of Abergavenny.
Some also county councillors, some on the cabinet, and one of those is the leader of Monmouthshire County Council
It’s not a free for all. We are bound by laws, policies, and codes of conduct, the policies of the county and the Welsh Government.
We new councillors are indebted to those previously on the council and the clerk.
I must single out the previous Mayor, Cllr Tony Konieczny, who’s encyclopaedic of this guidance help steer us and for the great example he set as mayor.
The aim of any local authority, under law, is to improve the social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being of the town and last year we devised a plan to carry that out.
We are fortunate to work with and support wonderful charities, theatre groups, schools, green groups, sports clubs etc who also have those aims.
We can also be a voice to the county in any plan that involves Abergavenny.
As a group we work together, irrespective of political persuasion, background etc to achieve this aim. Naturally there will be healthy debate on the way to achieve it but I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the integrity and dedication of my fellow councillors.
Nothing would happen without the town clerk, Sandra, who makes it all happen and ensure it is all done properly legally and financially.
What does it mean to be mayor?
You are the Chair of the council, the Mayor chairs full council where things like the budget is prepared, but there are three working committees, each with a head who do the hard work.
With the Chairs we prepare for meetings with the clerk, the Mayor represents the council at public meetings or town events.
Being Mayor gives me the opportunity to raise money for your chosen charities. I wanted to reflect my interest in those who circumstances have pushed to the margins. This year, I will be supporting the following:
Abergavenny Community Enterprise who work with a specific community to meet the needs of those most at risk from the cost of living crisis. https://www.facebook.com/ACEPartnership
Abergavenny Town of Sanctuary who support refugees to cross the barriers, eg language, culture, relevant qualifications, to become independent and earn money for their families.
Andy’s Man club a group for men to come to a safe space to support each other in difficult times. https://www.facebook.com/people/Andys-Man-Club-Abergavenny/100080316649739/