THE newly-appointed Mayor of Cardigan has praised the resilience of the town and the way the community has rallied round in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s traditional mayor-making ceremony at the Guildhall has had to be cancelled but in taking over the chains of office, Cllr Clive Davies thanked all those involved in helping others and looked ahead to what he hoped would be a prosperous future for the town in such uncertain times.

In his acceptance speech, Cllr Davies said: “May I, initially, thank Cllr Shan Williams for her year as Mayor and serving as chair of the Town Council which, towards the end of her term in office, was interrupted by the effects of the global pandemic Covid-19.

“Never has Cardigan been through anything similar in its documented history; these are unprecedented times and, unfortunately, some have already become casualties to this unforgiving virus.

“With the inevitable arrival of the restrictions and imminent lock-down, our market town businesses adapted and adjusted to provide a different service by providing alternative products.

“Business owners assisted each other where possible, providing deliveries and supporting charitable causes such as the local Foodbank, now receiving more than double its usual demands for support.

“At the same time, many from our town and surrounding communities stepped up to the challenge ahead and formed volunteering support groups for those more vulnerable and those shielding, by providing relevant information, arranging shopping for provisions and food, and providing a delivery service of medical prescriptions.

“These support groups have now become well established. I would like to thank all these volunteers for the work they are doing in safeguarding our communities.

“Gratitude is extended to our police who quietly, sensibly and effectively have educated and, on occasion, enforced social distancing and essential travel regulations.

“It is arguable that the £30 fine is not sufficient enough to prevent the spread of the virus by selfish law-breakers.

“Ceredigion County Council have quickly put into action a plan to prioritise and redeploy its staff for the preservation of life, by working with voluntary organisations and the Hywel Dda University Health Board. To date, the Ceredigion Covid-19 statistics are relatively low – long may this continue.

“Each week we are also reminded of the important roles undertaken by our care workers and NHS staff to preserve life, with our clapping each Thursday evening as a gesture of our appreciation for our front-line workers. We all have to play our part by staying home.

“For the year ahead, Cardigan will continue its journey towards a new way of living and working, a new normal for Cardigan, its community and businesses.

“Cardigan Town Council will continue to work within its community, with the local authority, providing support where possible.

“This will be a new normal for myself as Mayor, and my mother Myra as Mayoress who did an excellent job during my last mayoralty year in 2016-17.

“There will be very few civic events, less speeches, more virtual meetings, and a reduction in my list of intended projects.

“Some of these project ideas include developing a bluebell wood to pay tribute to our NHS which will remind us of these uncertain times; twinning Cardigan with Dingle, County Kerry in Ireland; support development of a local energy project from existing renewable sources; providing guidance and support for the development of Cardigan Swimming Pool; supporting the formation of a community land trust to give a louder voice by the town in housing its community; replacement of play equipment at King George V Playing Field.

“Before my term ends, I hope to celebrate in some way all which is good in our lovely town. However, we will have to monitor the situation week by week and abide by Welsh Government policy and legislation to see what we can do.

“When we do finally come out of this pandemic, I hope our community will be a more resilient community; new friendships will have been formed, and a greater respect for the climate and the natural environment with all the walking, cycling and gardening undertaken by us all.

“I would also hope that people continue to support our small independent traders which make our town so unique – it would be so tragic to lose all of this.

“Mae’n gyfnod rhyfedd iawn yn ein hanes. Diolch i bawb am gydweithio i hwyluso’r sefyllfa, ac i gynorthwyo eraill yn ein cymuned sydd yn fregus neu’n unig. Rhaid i ninnau gyd-glosio at ein gilydd a sicrhau eraill o’n hamgylch, canys y gwyddom y daw dyddiau gwell pan y cawn gyfle i gyfarfod â’n gilydd eto ac i ddathlu a chymdeithasu’n gynnes.

“Until then, stay safe, stay at home, and be kind.”