CARDIGAN’S new mayor has ambitious plans to tap in to the resources and talents available in the local community to keep the town moving forward.

Cllr Shan Williams was elected Cardigan mayor for the first time at the annual general meeting of the town council in the Guildhall on Tuesday night (May 14).

Cllr Williams, who is chairperson of 4CG, a co-operative organisation set up to advance community development through the regeneration of Cardigan and the surrounding area, took over the chain of office from out-going mayor Cllr John Adams-Lewis, with Cllr Clive Davies elected as deputy-mayor.

“I truly believe that in life there are no problems, only solutions waiting to be found. 4CG was founded on this attitude and awareness,” said Cllr Williams.

“Since 2010, 4CG has boosted the local economy by £8m by constantly reinvesting in the town. Other towns and village have followed our model and made changes they also want to see.

“We have undertaken a study into a local fish processing facility. This adds value to the catch locally by cutting out the middle man and more money stays in our local economy.

“I want a feasibility study into local renewable energy and a local produce market. I would also like to see the local memorial hospital site returned to the people of Cardigan.

“£200,000 leaves the Cardigan area in energy costs every week. The income from Wales’ natural resources is not benefiting the people of this country.

“Produce here is second to none but it is sold for a pittance to the supermarkets and brought back here to be sold at a premium.

“A local produce supermarket project was refused funding because we were told 4CG would be in direct competition to Tesco. That was not the answer we wanted and as mayor I will be asking Ceredigion to reconsider this.

“West Wales is the poorest region in western Europe. West London is the richest. We cannot depend on Westminster to look after Cardigan or West Wales. We must bring in these changes ourselves.

“Cardigan was once one of the biggest ports in the British isles and our town work ethic has not declined.

“We are the guardians of this town. Our generation has a duty to leave this town as good or better as when we were children.”

At the mayor-making ceremony, outgoing mayor Cllr Adams-Lewis was thanked for his work over the past year and his personal financial contribution to many local charities and organisations.

Cllr Adams-Lewis, in stepping down after his fourth term in office, highlighted the importance of such events as Barley Saturday, Cardigan Show, the carnival, the river and food festival, the lantern parade, the Albion celebrations and the inaugural St David’s Day parade.

“The success of these events depends on so many volunteers who give their time and energy every year for the benefit of the town and I would like to thank them all,” he said.

He said he was still keen to see the building of a pavement from Caemorgan to Penparc along the busy coastal road and that an end was finally in sight to the playground saga at Maesglas.

He will also continue to support local efforts to keep the town’s streets clean from dog and bird mess.

“It’s important that we make the town more attractive to both residents and visitors and that as a community we do what we can to sustain and improve our area when faced with such disastrous cuts,” added Cllr Adams-Lewis.

“It has also been great to see so many local businesses winning national awards.”