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The Cwmbran Big Event 2023 date, ‘Witchcraft’, ‘part-time councillors’ and £500 for a swimming club- Report from Cwmbran Community Council’s latest two meetings

Cwmbran Community Council held two meetings on Monday evening to discuss topics including the Cwmbran Big Event and grants to local groups.

It was an interesting evening and a first for Cwmbran Life to cover this community council in person. The Events & Community Projects meeting started first with Cllr Michele Day, Ty Canol Ward, as chair.

Cwmbran Big Event

Councillors reviewed a report on the 2022 event that was held on 11 June 2022. It was the first event since 2019 when the community council took over the running of the Cwmbran Big Event from Torfaen Council.

An estimated 15,000 people went to Boating Lake during the day.

Cllr Stuart Ashley, Mount Pleasant Ward, raised some concerns over the number of people using the footbridge at times. He suggested a Bailey Bridge could be installed at future events by the army so each bridge could be one-way.

Cllr Lyndon Chaney, Greenmeadow Ward, thanked all the staff for doing a “fantastic job.”

Cllr Philip Seabourne, Ty Canol Ward, said he supported the idea of a temporary bridge being installed by the army as they usually attended the Big Event. He added: “It wouldn’t be hard for them and their logistics to put a bridge across.”

Cllr Day suggested that more stewards could be employed and used to encourage bridge users to be “kept to the left”.

Cllr Councillor Leanne Lloyd-Tolman, Upper Cwmbran/ Thornhill Ward, suggested asking two nearby factories, Meritor or Crane, if people driving to the event could use their staff car to alleviate parking problems in parts of Llanyrafon.

Councillors were told the budget was £25,000 and the event had come in under budget, even after taking into account some invoices that had not been received yet.

The 2023 event would be held on Saturday 10 June.

Summer Playschemes

Councillor William Walker, Llantarnam Ward, said he was “utterly disgusted” by a lack of interest shown in the playschemes by some councillors.

Cllr Susan Morgan, Lowlands & Avondale Ward, said she attended the end-of-summer awards event for volunteers and play leaders. and a video that was played was “absolutely fantastic. It captured everything that was done.” She suggested a copy of the video is played at a future council meeting.

Red Ensign Day/Merchant Navy Day Flag Raising

Councillor Walker said he was disappointed by the number of councillors who attended the event at the end of August. He said: “There are some councillors who are part-time and there is no place for councillors who are part-time. I want to make the point, to get involved instead of doing it part-time.”

Cllr Chaney said: “I was unable to attend those events, not for want of trying.” Cllr Walker replied: “As long as that’s your apology I will accept it.”

Cllr Walker added: “It was totally embarrassing when the community council has a flag raising ceremony, just to have the veterans, a clerk and couple of councillors. It’s abysmal. There should have been more representatives of the community council. ‘Where is everybody else?’ we were saying.”

Cllr Anthony Bird, Northville Ward said: “Bill (Cllr Walker) is right, more councillors need to turn up at these things. There is no-one who disagrees, so let’s move on.”

Cllr Phil Seabourne said he was on holiday in West Wales.

Senior Schools Choral Festival

The following schools have been invited to the event on Thursday 13 October at 6pm in the Congress Theatre:

  • Cwmbran High School
  • Croesyceiliog School
  • Caerleon Comprehensive School
  • Crownbridge School
  • Rougement School

Each school is given £125 and keeps any money they collect from ticket sales.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

This year, the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies will be taking place at:

  • Ladywell, Pontnewydd – Wednesday 30 November 2022 at 6pm
  • The Council House – Friday 2 December 2022 at 6pm

Torfaen Council provide and put up both trees with lighting and fencing. Last year the costs were £2,000 each.

Grants to Voluntary Organisations Committee meeting

This meeting was chaired by Cllr Phil Seabourne. The committee looked at two applications:

Cwmbran Otters Swimming Club 

Councillors approved a grant of £500. Cllr Seabourne said: “As a former swimming coach I know the work that goes on in clubs. This money will be well spent.”

Thornhill 4 U Too 

Thornhill 4 U Too is a foodbank based at Thornhill Community Centre. The grant was turned down because the form they submitted also mentioned a “spiritual group” who use the same venue. As this group was referred to in the application, Cllr Bird there was a “legal reason” why they couldn’t give the grant, and that was the “basis of witchcraft”. He told councillor that they couldn’t support anything that could possibly fall under The Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951, Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 and Schedule 4 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Cllr Lloyd-Tolman pointed out that they were just a “user of the hall.”

Cllr Bird said they could apply “with those two words taken out” and should be supported to make another application.




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The Cwmbran Big Event 2023 date, ‘Witchcraft’, ‘part-time councillors’ and £500 for a swimming club- Report from Cwmbran Community Council’s latest two meetings

Cwmbran Community Council
Cwmbran Community Council's office in Old Cwmbran