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Penaluna’s Famous Fish and Chips in High Street, Hirwaun had a visit from the Mayor

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Mayor learnt about the wonderful work done by Mencap volunteers and met staff at an award-winning local eaterie during his civic week February 15-21.

Mayor Cllr John Watts started his civic week by visiting the popular Penaluna’s Famous Fish and Chips in High Street, Hirwaun. The chippie, which attracts food-lovers from across the region, has recently been named the Best Fish and Chip Shop in Wales.

Owner Lee Penaluna and his team recently represented Wales in the National Fish and Chip Awards 2015, organised by Seafish. Penaluna’s is also one of only three fish and chip shops in Wales to become an accredited supplier of sustainable cod and haddock from the Marine Stewardship Council.

Cllr Watts and mayoress Mrs Anne Watts congratulated staff on their success and were treated to a portion of Penaluna’s famous chips.

“It was a pleasure to meet everyone at Penaluna’s – especially during National Chip Week!” said Cllr Watts.

 “I discovered that around 50 per cent of their customers travel from outside of Hirwaun to enjoy their fabulous food – which speaks for itself.”

On Friday, February 20th, Cllr Watts presented certificates to volunteers at the Mencap Volunteering Awards, at Coleg y Cymoedd, Llwynypia. The awards showcase the incredible contributions made by people with a learning disability to their local communities.

The Mencap Cymru Motivate project provides meaningful volunteering opportunities for people with a learning disability in Rhondda Cynon Taf within day services, as well as those not in day services. A small team of four support a total of 54 volunteers.

The project has been running for 16 years and is funded by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

“This project provides an opportunity for the volunteers to learn and develop new skills which in turn increases their own independence and can be beneficial in the future,” said Cllr Watts.

“Participants have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their community through their valued volunteering.”

On Saturday, February 21, Cllr Watts joined Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil Council, Cllr Brian Mansbridge, to unveil a Blue Plaque to John Ewington at Abercynon Railway Station.

John Ewington worked as a signalman for the Taff Vale Railway in 1900 and helped form the local branch of the trade union The Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants.

Members of Mr Ewington's family attended the unveiling of the blue plaque, along with Abercynon Male Choir, friends and local residents.

The Mayor is working this year to raise awareness and funds for The Royal British Legion and Macmillan Cancer Support (RCT), as well as the Rhondda Appeal, a local cause for Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. A range of exciting events are being held this spring for the Mayor’s Appeal. 

Donations to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal can be made through a secure online service. Please visit the Mayor's page if you would like to make a donation or if you have an idea for a fundraising event. You can also contact the Mayoral Office on 01443 494061 or email