A FORMER Mayor of Torfaen is preparing to throw her hat back into the world of politics – just days after her 93rd birthday.

Phyllis Roberts will be contesting the Blaenavon West ward at the 2017 local government elections as one of the Labour candidates for the Blaenavon Town Council.

Although she turned 93 on Sunday, April 2, Mrs Roberts, of Ivor Gardens, Blaenavon, said she believes age is just a number when it comes to politics.

“I don’t think you are ever too old for politics,” she said.

“But I think that I am one of the oldest candidates to stand in these elections, if not the oldest.

“I have been politically motivated all my life.

“I have always had an interest in politics, at whatever level.”

The former Gwent and Torfaen councillor, who was also the second-ever chairwoman of the Blaenavon Urban District Council, is a former magistrate and was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2015 for her services to the community of Blaenavon.

She served at the Mayor of Torfaen in 1983, but after a few years away from the forefront of local politics, Mrs Roberts believes she is ready to make her return.

“Fortunately I am in good health, which is partly why I decided to stand,” she said.

“I had a period of bad health last year but I am in good health again,” she said.

A former newsagent, Mrs Roberts has devoted much of her time and energy to promoting the elderly community of Blaenavon as one of the founders of Age Concern Torfaen, since retiring from work and stepping away from politics for the first time..

For the past decade, she has sat as the chairwoman of Blaenavon Over 50s Forum and is also vice-president of the Blaenavon Male Voice Choir and the president of the Ladies’ Choir.

She was involved in the town receiving UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2000 for its Industrial Landscape, and has previously served as the chair of governors at Blaenavon’s Park Street Secondary School, as Blaenavon became one of the three Welsh heritage sites.

“The main reason that I am standing for the town council is that I want to help and improve the community in Blaenavon. I want to see it restored and blossom back into what it once was,” said the 93-year-old.

Mrs Roberts will be contesting the six seats of the Blaenavon West ward against Gareth Davies, Jacqueline Denley-Jones, Lewis Evans, Sylvia Lewis, Gareth McCann and Nick Horlor.