Rhondda Cynon Taf has welcomed its new Mayor.
Former Mayor Cllr Ann Crimmings officially handed over the chains of office to Cllr John Watts, who represents Ystrad ward and has served as Deputy Mayor for the last year, at the Council meeting this week.
Cllr John Watts is looking forward to a busy year in office as he strives to raise awareness, and as many funds as he can, for his chosen good causes that do so much for people in Rhondda Cynon Taf and beyond.
Father-of-four to Clayton, Bradley, Emma and Ryland, he has served as Deputy Mayor for the last 12 months and has enjoyed a small taster of what life will be like as Rhondda Cynon Taf’s First Citizen.
Now he has taken over the chains for the coming year, Mayor Watts is looking forward to a packed calendar of events and initiatives that will not only support his Charity Appeal, but also continue to raise awareness of the role of Mayor and help him engage with residents from all walks of life.
Grandfather-of-eight Mayor Watts is particularly keen to work with those who have fundraising ideas or initiatives they wish to share with him, or those who wish to get involved in his efforts for the next 12 months.
He is looking forward to focusing his efforts on raising funds and awareness for charities, particularly as he is now retired from his career as an electrical engineer. He began work as an NCB apprentice in Tonypandy Powerhouse in 1958 and went on to work in Cambrian Colliery in 1960. He stayed here for four years, before moving to the Lady Windsor Colliery in Ynysybwl until 1967. The role he worked in from 1967 until his retirement in 2010 was at Bramber Engineering in Llywynypia and took him to work all over GB and abroad, including China.
Cllr Watts, who lives in Ystrad, has chosen MacMillan Cancer Support (RCT) and The Royal British Legion (RCT) as his charities for his year in office.
He will also be supporting his local charity, The Rhondda Appeal - a local cause for Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs.
He explained: “I have enjoyed my time as Deputy Mayor and attended a large number of events in that role. Now I am Mayor, I cannot wait for the year to begin; I have lots of ideas and intend to keep myself very busy on behalf of the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“Supported by my wife of 52 years, Anne, who will be my Consort, I am looking forward to working with as many people as possible. I want people to get involved, to make contact and share ideas.
“I have chosen the charities to benefit from this year’s appeal for good reasons; Macmillan Cancer Support needs no explanation, cancer and its aftermath is so far-reaching and we have all been touched and all needed help.
The Royal British Legion does such fantastic work and I think we all need a reminder of that. People have forgotten what they do for past and present service men and women and I want to raise awareness of that work in the coming months.
Finally, I will also be supporting and promoting the Rhondda Appeal, which is a local charity very close to my own heart as I have been involved with it personally for 40 years. It supports the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs in the area.
“I am already speaking with the charities and local supporters to ensure we put on a calendar of events that everyone can enjoy that, ultimately, raise as much money as they can.”
The role of Mayor is a far-reaching one, of which raising charity funds is just a part. As the First Citizen of the County Borough, Mayor Watts will support a number of civic events, including the Council’s important support for Armed Forces Day, Remembrance Day and more.