New Powys council chairman 'dedicated' to learning Welsh

The new chairman of Powys County Council Chairman is hoping to be able to chair a meeting in both English and Welsh before the end of his term.

Councillor Gwynfor Thomas
Councillor Gwynfor Thomas

As he took over the role at the council’s annual meeting on Thursday, Councilor Gwynfor Thomas encouraged others to join him on a journey to learn Welsh.

Councillor Thomas, who represents Llansantffraid, said: “It’s a very proud moment, something I thought I wouldn’t attain when I became a councillor.

“I’m from a Welsh background with a Welsh speaking father, but sadly never took on the language.”

He added that he knew of councillors who are trying to learn Welsh and hoped that others could also join him on this journey.

Councillor Thomas: “There’s plenty of resources out there, and I’ve spoken to the Welsh department officers, they are willing to support us in this initiative.

“The attempt is that: I will try and chair a meeting bilingually by the time it comes to the end of my year.

“I do have a limited Welsh knowledge, I have an app on my phone and I’m dedicating some time to it.”

Councillor Thomas added: “I’m really excited about the year, it’s a difficult start due to the pandemic, but we must try and operate as normally as possible.”

Councillor Thomas told councillors that the charity he’s supporting during his year is the DPJ foundation, which is a mental health charity that works in the farming sector.

“In the current circumstances we will be relying on charities such as this even more,” said Councillor Thomas.

At the meeting councillors confirmed that Councillor Gareth Ratcliffe will become vice-chairman for the year, having been the assistant vice-chairman.

Councillor Ratcliffe, said: “Thank you for your support, I look forward to working with you over this period supporting Powys and it’s residents.”

This meant that a new assistant vice-chairman was needed, and outgoing chairman, Councillor Beverley Baynham nominated Councillor Jon Williams, for that role.

His nomination was agreed unanimously.

This means that all three civic roles are filled by a councillor representing wards from each of the former shires of Montgomeryshire, Brecknockshire and Radnorshire,

Councillor Williams said: “Thank you everybody for showing your faith in me.

“We have some challenging times coming up and I hope we can all pull together and make a difference, as that’s what we’re here for.”

All three read out the official declaration of office online.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News