The new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council is looking forward to raising the profile of community life and voluntary effort in the county over the next 12 months.
Cllr. Siân Thomas from Penygroes has made a busy start to her year in office as County Council Chair.
Her Chair’s Charities for the year are specialist equipment for Glanaman Hospital, the dedicated home for sufferers of dementia based in the Aman Valley, and the Gwendraeth Valley Diabetic Association.
Cllr. Thomas, who lives in Heol Maes y Bont, Castell y Rhingyll, Llanelli, with husband David, comes from the Amman Valley but was brought up in the Swansea Valley in Ystradgynlais and Pontardawe.
She was a pupil at Ysgol Ynyscedwyn, Trebanos Primary School and and Ystalyfera Grammar School before going to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and graduating with a BA in Education and Philosophy. She also has an MEd in Performance Management from the University of Wales, Swansea, an MA in Creative Writing in Welsh from Trinity St David’s University, a Diploma in Counselling from Lampeter University, and a Diploma in Business Studies and Computer Science from Tycoch College, Swansea.
Cllr. Siân Thomas has represented the county council on the Governing Bodies of Ysgol Gynradd y Blaenau and Ysgol Gynradd Penygroes and is a Trustee of the Investment Panel of the Dyfed Pension Fund.
She is a Trustee of Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, national chair of the Society of Plaid Cymru Councillors, the editor of Cyngor, a magazine for Plaid Cymru councillors, the Welsh representative on the Olimpias Circle of poets in the USA, and a member of Llandybie Community Council.
She has also in the past been a member of the University Court, national vice chair the Welsh Community Health Council, chair of the Plaid Cymru committee for the the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituncy, national chair of the lecturers’ section of the Welsh teaching union UCAC, and chair of the Plaid Cymru group on the county council.
Cllr. Thomas is a former teacher, former Further Education and Higher Education lecturer, former broadcaster on the Wedi 3 television programme, former voluntary worker with the Citizens Advice Bureau, and a former tutor of Welsh as a Second Language and Adult Literacy.
She has published three books in Welsh on computer science (Word Processing, Database and Spreadsheet. She has also published short stories and poetry in a variety of publications, and travel articles in magazines.
She works for the Diabetes Society as a campaigner and lecturer, is a lecturer and guest speaker on various subjects for dufferent organisations, is a member of Penygroes Chapel (Independents), and keeps fit through swimming and gardening.
Cllr Thomas said: “I want to work to raise the profile of the county in terms of the community and voluntary work and to highlight the good news out there.
“I have chosen three Chair’s Charities, firstly specialist equipment for Glanaman Hospital, in memory of two dear friends who died there, Mrs Betty Edwards who encouraged me to stand as a County Councillor, and in memory of Dewi Enoch, former Chairman of Council, and in thanks to the hospital for caring so well for my mother and several aunts during their terminal illnesses.
“Secondly, the dedicated home for sufferers of dementia based in the Aman Valley, in memory of my uncle Dafydd Davies, founder of Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd, the national Nature Society, who died there some two months ago, and thirdly, as a sufferer, to the Gwendraeth Valley Diabetic Association, to purchase specialist measuring equipment to recognise and treat the condition, for use in our GP surgeries.”
The new Vice Chair is Cllr Terry Davies of Gorslas.
Cllr Davies went to Gorslas Primary School, Gwendraeth Grammar School and has an HNC Electrical and Electronic Engineering (1969-71 Llanelli Tec) and an HND in Social Care as a mature student at Coleg Sir Gar from 1992-94.
He was employed as an electrician for British Coal at Cwmgwili Colliery from 1965-92, as Community Development Manager at Menter Cwm Gwendraeth from 1995-2002 and as Community Development Officer at Amman Valley Enterprise from 2002-2005.He has been active in trade union work as National Union of Mineworkers Lodge Official from 1972-92, NUM South Wales Executive Member from 1990-92 and as Limited Members Secretary (Retired Members and Widows) from 1992 on.
He has been a Community Councillor since 1977 and is the current chairman of Gorslas Community Council, a Youth Leader since 1977, Church warden for over 20 years, is a Governor at Ysgol y Gwendraeth and Chair of Governors at Gorslas CP School.
Cllr Davies was accepted into the Green Robe at the National Eisteddfod in 2006 and was awarded rthe MBE for services to the community in the 2008 New Year’s Honours.