Mayor of Llantwit Major

A Year in the Life of the Town Mayor at Llantwit Major. Every year each Council Choose their Mayor to Hold office for One year.

My Photo
Location: Llantwit Major, Wales, United Kingdom

I live in Llantwit Major with my two Children Jessica aged 11 years and Laura aged 10 years, I am President of the Twining Organstion. Chairman of Planing, Chairman of Youth Forum, Chairman of School Gardens Commitee, Chairman of the Citzens Awards, Chairman of the Stillbirth and Childrens memorial Garden, Vice Chairman of S.M.I.L.E, Trustee of Crossroads in the Vale.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Llantwit Major Mini/Junior Football Presentation

On May 19th I was invited my the Llantwit Major Mini/Junior Football Club to present awards to the young Players.

Llantwit Major Junior Fottball club recently held its annual presentation, at which the mini football teams, ranging form under-8 through to under 11, all recieved recognition for their performances throughout the season.

The juniors have had a good season, with the under- 12 side wininng the league and reaching the final of the League Cup.

The Taem who stepped up form mini football did Llantwit Major proud, with a number of excelent performances throughout the season, and Manager Ewan Wheatley did a fine job in coaching these boys to the title,

In addition to their league and cup exploits, the team was selected to represent the Vale of Glamorgan League in an inter-league match against Merthyr.
The under 15 team also had another fine season in finishing runners up and beating close rivals St Athan in the League Cup.

The under 13 side made a bad start to the season, but steadily improved, and much when they move up to the nest group.
Both under 14 teams promised much at the start, with the under 14 a team leading the way in the first half of the season.
However, after Christmas, their form dipped and they had to be satisfied with fifth place.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Civic Service's and Mayor Making attended in May

On 14th May I was invited to attend the Civic Service for the Chairman of the Llandough Communtiy Council Cllr Andrew Wiggins.

On 19th May I was invited to attend the Mayor making Service for the newly appointed Mayor Of Cowbridge Cllr Linda Adams

The Mayor Making takes plave at the AGM of the Council and the Civic Service takes place at a later date, This is when the Chains of office are blessed by the Church.

Who participates in Mayor Making ?

In addition to the out-going and in-coming Mayors and those Town Councillors able to be present, the following people will also normally participate in the Mayor Making ceremony:

Honorary Recorder:
An office of dignity, the holder is normally a Circuit Judge with some connection to Dover; the Honorary Recorder enjoys precedence in Dover next after the Town Mayor; note the tradition of carrying a nosegay or posy at Mayor Making – the Honorary Recorder will present it to the Mayor after the ceremony;

Honorary Chaplain:
Appointed at each Mayor Making by the new Mayor, the office holder will carry out civic services and similar duties during the year;

Town Clerk:
The paid “Proper Officer” of the Town Council, equivalent to the Chief Executive; also a very ancient office with the earliest recorded reference in the Holy Bible (Acts of the Apostles 19 verse 35); the Dover Town Clerk traditionally wears the wig and gown when the Mayor is robed;

The Town Council’s paid “Responsible Financial Officer”; the office holder traditionally attends all ceremonies such as Mayor Making;

Town Sergeant:
Fulfils several roles, including Mayor’s Attendant, Mace Bearer, Master of Ceremonies and Mayor’s Chauffeur; the paid office holder will always be present when the Mayor wears the chain of office;

Mayor’s Cadet:
Appointed annually, the Mayor’s Cadet accompanies the Town Mayor at various ceremonies and civic functions.

New Special Forces Support Group: Inaugural Parade

On May 11th I was invited along with the Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Des Browne MP, and the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson,and Brigder Adrian Bradshaw the Director of Special Forces to attended the inaugural parade of the new Special Forces Support Group at RAF St Athan. were I was able to talk with the Secretary of State about the Matrix Bid and how this would be good for Llantwit Major and employment within the Vale.
The Special Forces Support Group is a new unit within the UK Special Forces group, which was set up on 3 April 2006. It will directly support UK Special Forces intervention operations around the world and provide the UK with an additional counter-terrorist capability. Personnel for the unit will be specially equipped and trained for their Special Forces role

Personnel for the new unit have been drawn from the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Marines, and the Royal Air Force Regiment. The unit will be part of the UK Special Forces Group, falling under the operational command of the Director of Special Forces. As with the rest of the Special Forces, the best way to protect their capabilities is to respect the importance of keeping the identities of its individuals, its operations, its capabilities, its tactics and training, and its equipment properly secret.

The need to enhance Special Forces capability was announced in the Strategic Defence Review New Chapter, published in July 2002. Members of the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) will retain the cap badges of their parent units and will also wear the SFSG insignia.

All individuals within this specialist group have passed either the Royal Marines Commando course, the Airborne Forces Selection course run by the Parachute Regiment or the RAF Pre-Parachute Selection course. Each of these selection courses involves arduous physical selection and high quality infantry training. The personnel are then equipped and provided with additional training to fit their specific specialist role on joining the SFSG.

The main role of the SFSG is to provide direct support to UK Special Forces intervention operations around the world. They will be prepared to operate in war-fighting, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations at short notice. Their roles may include provision of supporting or diversionary attacks, cordons, fire support, force protection and supporting training tasks. Prior to the creation of the SFSG, these tasks have been carried out by other units on an ad hoc basis.

The creation of two new Special Forces units to enhance the overall capabilities of the Special Forces and to improve the UK's ability to fight terrorism was announced by the then Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, on 16 December 2004. The first unit, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, became operational in April 2005. The SFSG is the second unit, which became operational on 3 April 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Historical Perspective On Today's Mayorallty

Before we Begin our jounury in my Year in Office, It is important to understand the Office of Mayor and for us also to understand how the office developed and the traditions that it bequeathed.
The word's 'Mayor' and 'Major' derive from the same Latin word 'Magnus' meaning great. The office of Mayor together with the Domesday Book and the feudal system were bought to this country by the Normans as such an office has existed on the continent since at least the fifth century.
The title of Mayor given to the head of the Corporation (Council) is comparatively speaking an innovation which was introduced by the Municipal Corporation Act 1835.
The Office of Mayor has changed dramatically over the Centuries as can be seen below:
Middle Ages
During this time, unlike today, the Mayor was always a "he" and under whatever name he was known in his particular Borough, he seems to have held a position similar in many ways to his modern successor.
Like today, the Mayor was acknowledged as the "first citizen" of the town, he had a Council (under differing names) to assist him, he was a 'Custodian of the Peace' - the name for early Magistrates, and he would normally preside in the Borough's civil and criminal courts.
Tudor Times
Historian William Lamarde's "stack of statutes" greatly increased the powers of the Mayor as Chief and sometimes Sole Magistrate. This made the Magistrate the Tudor "maids of all work" resulting in a great increase in their personal importance as these following examples of mayoral powers show:
The power to arrest those disturbing the peace and persons carrying offensive weapons in fairs (2Ed.III c. 3);
Power to regulate the size of loaves of bread and to seize bread of unlawful size and pillory the bakers responsible (5 Henry V c.6);
Powers to search premises suspected of unlawful gaming (33 Henry VIII c. 9);
The power to compel persons to go into service, and to deal with matters relating to servants and apprentices (5 Eliz. I c.4);
The power to deal with dyers suspected of using logwood in dyeing (23 Eliz. I c. 9)
By the Seventeenth century, the Mayor had in many Boroughs become all powerful and in many instances his powers included:
Chairman of the Council or other governing body of the town (e.g. the Alderman, Capital Burgesses, Masters, Approved Man, Portmen, or Brethren);
Chief Magistrate often presiding at Quarter Sessions as well as Petty Sessions;
President of the Civil and Manorial Courts of the Borough, sometimes sitting with the Recorder or the Town Clerk, and sometimes alone;
Borough Coroner
Clerk of the Borough Market(s);
Keeper of the Borough Gaol;
The appointment of most Borough Officers, including in some towns the Town Clerk and Chamberlain;
The creation of Freeman, often for a fee; and
Admiral of the Port - title retained today in several seacoast towns such as Southampton, Poole and Kingston-upon-Hull.
By the Eighteenth century, the position of Mayor in this country had become one of considerable power and the position was, and still is regarded as the pinnacle of achievement for service to the local community.
In 1835, the legal position of the Mayor was regulated by Parliament, who laid down a clear definition of the precise attributes of the modern Mayor thus restricting and regulating by statute the rights of the precedence of the Mayor.
By the nineteenth century, a Mayor could be the centre of all political activity with the terms of office lasting often two to four years. By attending a large number of committees, the Mayor could hold the whole Council together and co-ordinate and integrate its activities. The political role of the Mayor, rather than the social and ceremonial role, was clearly far more important in this era than it is today.
The Importance and Role of the Mayor Today
One can suggest three main important roles for the traditional Mayor in today's local authorities and society:
(i) As a symbol of the authority
The insignia of the mace, robes, chains of office etc is a clear symbol of the Mayor's Authority in that area. The Mayor, through the office of Mayor and its trappings, connects the present day with history and acts as a symbol of continuity.
Until 1974 the use of the term "Corporation" symbolised the fact that the people were considered part of the Council and this strengthened the symbolism of the Mayor being the First Citizen who spoke for the whole town or city and gave an identity.
(ii) As a symbol of open society
A modern role for the Mayor is that the office symbolises an open society. The choice of Mayor is no longer restricted and the First Citizen can (and does) come from any class gender or ethnic background. The First Citizen no longer is the privilege of the white middle/upper class male and the new diversity reflects the more open and democratic society we now live in.
(iii) As an expression of social cohesion
The Many, often social, engagements that are undertaken by a mayor are an expression of giving cohesion to the life of the city or town.
The history of the Mayoralty is important because it is one well-known and continuous factor in people's experiences. The power of the Mayor has undoubtedly reduced throughout the centuries and it is unlikely that today's Mayor will have the authority of, say, a fifteenth century Mayor or register some of the landmark achievements of great Victorian Mayors. The office, however, continues to have a central part to play in modern Councils and modern society and part of this role, as we have seen, is a result of the tradition it inherits.