Brynmawr councillors to fight for cinema at civic centre
TOWN councillors from Brynmawr Town Council are set to protest against their own county council, such is their concern about the potential cut in funding to Brynmawr Market Hall cinema.
Both the cinema and Nantyglo leisure centre are under threat of closure after Labour-controlled Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council announced it proposed to cut their funding in an attempt to save around £300,000.
Blaenau Gwent Council says it needs to address a budget deficit of £3.9 million.
Brynmawr Town Council, which is also Labour run, will now hold a protest tomorrow morning at 9.30am outside the civic centre to try to persuade the council to reverse its proposal, which it is set to make.
Councillor Olwen Swales explained that the decision transcended politics.
She said: “Brynmawr Market Hall cinema really is the heart of our town and it is very important to us all.
“I think everyone feels the same. There was a postcard sent back by a soldier from Brynmawr serving in India many years ago.
“He said, ‘I’m stood outside the Taj Mahal the most beautiful building in the world, but I’d rather be in the square looking at the clock on the Market Hall cinema in Brynmawr’. That sums it up. It is our heritage.”
Town councillor for 25 years Terry Hughes agreed: “Wewant a fair playing-field.
We feel we keep being put in the periphery. We are not a suburb of Ebbw Vale we have our own heritage.
“We are a deprived area and this is the heart of our town. The next nearest cinema will be in Merthyr, which will be expensive for people to get to.”
Cllr Hughes also felt the borough council’s assurances that they would be speaking to them about a way forward with the cinema had not been followed up.
“They have got a certain contempt for town councils, I think,” he said.
Anybody interested in joining the protest is encouraged to come along.