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On the War (Memorial) Path

"The heroic efforts of Abertillery men in the First World War should never be overlooked."

I have to say that my will of steel has now been broken, and I can stay silent no longer.  Smile
Actually forgive me for that flippant remark because this is no laughing matter.

The above quote comes from a website that's sprung up, purportedly to bring together all aspects of remembrance and commemoration of The Great War in this area.

For those who don't know, I'm heavily involved with the local Royal British Legion. I was brought up to revere the memory of those who gave their lives and those who endured hardships in the cause of freedom and at the first opportunity I joined 'the Legion'. (It's not long ago that the rule that one had to have served to be a member was removed).

There's been a few things going on that I've not been entirely happy with and/or been concerned about but they've been matters that the RBL can and has been dealing with.

However, as a private individual I've witnessed or been able to discover goings on that I wouldn't be happy with, even if I wasn't a member of the RBL.

Anyone at the Remembrance Sunday Service at our War memorial this year?

Young people paying tribute is in my eyes one of the moving sights.
The older members of society remembering their comrades, close relatives etc. is also poignant.

This year I and many others witnessed an elderly, less mobile gentleman being helped to lay his wreath by a couple who presumably were very close relatives. He had difficulty getting up and down the steps but persevered and laid his wreath.

What on Earth would we as participants feel if a wheelchair user was present and wanted to pay their tribute?
(I know what would happen, but there isn't 4 able-bodied people permanently stationed at the War Memorial is there?).

Next, this website.
Littered with spelling mistakes and in my view looking more like part of a political campaign.

* A website dedicated to Remembrance yet with links to a politician clearly on it.

* A website that actually advertises - sorry, publicises - said politician making an act of homage alongside young people, yet has no videos of the many other individuals who did likewise.
(And ironically making that act of homage in a constituency which he does not represent !).

* A website saying how Blaenau Gwent remembers but could be taken as helping to ensure that a representative of the people is not forgotten.

* A website that has contributions from a number of sources - individuals and organisations etc. - which could be taken as endorsing this particular person.

A website that this politician is the Registrant ('owner') of.

Oh - and if anyone has any info to provide that would be of help to the website then the address to post it to is - the Brynmawr office of a certain political party.

The website contains those words - "The heroic efforts of Abertillery men in the First World War should never be overlooked."

Neither should their memories be sullied with cheap political stunts either in my view.

I wonder what our AM - who was at our Remembrance Sunday service this year - thought of that elderly gentleman (who no doubt had played his part in keeping us free and democratic) and the hardship he endured in order to make his personal tribute?

I wonder if Alun Davies AM will now get onto the powers that be and ensure that the War Memorial gets not only the disabled access people deserve but that the Disability Discrimination Act demands ?

PS - if anyone wants to put this up on Facebook or anywhere else you have my permission.

On the War (Memorial) Path

There's very few members of the labour party left on here to debate it with you Dave, come to that there's very few members whatever their allegiance.
If Abertillery ever gains independence from Blaenau Gwent however you know where to come for a passport.

Or currency?

Well, today I sent a complaint to Gwent Police, asking for it to investigate a clear breach of the DDA and its successor the Equality Act.

The Community Council spends over 80,000 on employees and can't be ar$ed to spend less than 10k to put a wheelchair platform lift at the War Memorial.

I quote from Facebook 'Blaenau Gwent Speak Freely':

"Police Investigation, A & L CC - War Memorial.

I have today asked the Chief Constable to arrange for an investigation into the lack of 'disabled access' to the Cenotaph and the CC's continued failure to do anything about it. It's had since October 2004 - THAT'S TEN YEARS OF ABJECT FAILURE TO ENABLE OUR WAR DEAD TO HAVE TRIBUTES MADE TO THEM BY EVERY CITIZEN, FREELY AND EASILY.

So let's have no nonsense about 'BGCBC', 'Regeneration' etc. It should have been done 10 years ago.
I'm given to understand that the RBL has been asking about it for almost a year, and that iot was brought up even before that by someone.

2014/15 was of course a special year.

No, I'm not talking of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war that lead to the creation of our tribute to our heroes.

I'm talking about the year that Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council spent over 80,000 on payments to employees YET COULDN'T SPEND A FEW THOUSAND ON A WHEELCHAIR PLATFORM LIFT FOR THE WAR MEMORIAL.

That's all it would take.

And to think that Alun Davies AM, Cllr Glyn Smith*, Chair of Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council, and a whole host of 'dignatories' witnessed what I and every other person present at the last Remembrance Sunday ceremony saw - an elderly gentleman, helped by two people, steadfastly but precariously making his way up to and back from laying his tribute.
(Made me proud and embarrassed, he did, bless him and his helpers.)

* I find it quite ironic because all credit to Cllr Smith, he has and does to my knowledge attend every possible event that pays tribute to our war dead (at least 3 ceremonies last Remembrance Sunday). I would have thought he would exert some influence, especially now he's Chair.

Anyway, let's see what happens."
eddie smith

lol thought you didnt go on facebook you little rascal you. Youve been telling us porkies xxx

eddie smith wrote:
lol thought you didnt go on facebook you little rascal you. Youve been telling us porkies xxx

Key word.
Anyway, you've been telling us you're Eddie Smith.

Let's hope we get all this forum's members back.
What's been going on with Aber & Llan covert council deserves to be known.

It's been under the radar for far too long.

Still on this subject ie. spending on anything other than Disabled Accessed for the War Memorial:

Anyone been in the Council Chamber in Mitre St?
It's not much bigger than the size of a large living room. (For those who know 'The Mersh' it's at most 50% bigger than the main bar.)

You can easily be heard, especially when there's the best of order at meetings.
So what did the former Clerk do? - Spent 8,000 on a microphone system. Thats' probably more than installing a wheelchair platform lift at the War Memorial would cost.

(Note - I say "the former Clerk" because there's absolutely no record of him being given delegated authority to purchase it, and there's certainly no record of the job beijg put out to tender. Anecdotal evidence is that the system arrived and councillors simply endorsed the payment for it.)

By the way - they don't even use it !

Right then. We have progress.
(Not the progress we'd like ie. action from the covert er.... community council - but there will be).

A special thanks to Inspector Townsend who's been very helpful providing advice on this matter.

It's not a crime to breach the DDA apparently but it is a regulatory breach and hence the civil court is the place to deal with it.
A & L CC's being written to to advise that if it doesn't put out tenders for the provision of disabled accessed then the Clerk (on behalf of the council) will be making a trip to Blackwood before this year's Rembrancetide.

Letter sent.

The next Full Meeting should be interesting.    Very Happy

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