A NEW TOWN councillor has joined Blaenavon Town Council, replacing former mayor Phyllis Roberts.

Cllr Jayne Skyrme was co-opted at the Town Council’s full council meeting after Mrs Roberts stood down in April because of health issues which were making it difficult to attend meetings.

Cllr Skyrme, who moved to Blaenavon from Pontypool aged 16, said she hoped she could help lead the community and inspire others to do the same.

South Wales Argus:

New Blaenavon Town Councillor Jayne Skyrme with Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Alan Jones. Picture: Blaenavon Town Council

“I realised throughout that this was what I enjoyed more than anything – serving my community and offering up my skills and experience for its benefit,” she said.

“Blaenavon is an amazing, diverse place, full of people of immense talent, pride and skill.

“I have great relationships with many of my fellow community members and believe I have fostered a reputation of trust and tenacity.

“I believe that if you want to affect change, you have to be an example, roll up your sleeves and do something positive. Everyone has the capacity to lead, and I see it as my own responsibility – to others and myself – to learn and grow to be an effective leader amongst my own community and to support others to do so.”


Cllr Skyrme is currently involved in the roll-out of the All-Wales NHS Video Consultation Service, which allows healthcare practitioners to consult with patients online, as part of her work with TEC Cymru.

She has previously worked in the town as an enterprise facilitator, where she helped set up a voluntary team of business champions who helped to start and develop more than 250 businesses across Torfaen. She has also worked for the charity Women’s Aid.

And over the past decade, Cllr Skyrme has helped coordinate a range of events, both as a member of the Town Team and as a Torfaen regeneration officer.

Cllr Skyrme will be taking over from Mrs Roberts, who was a prominent figure in politics in Torfaen for more than half a century.

Mrs Roberts was named the second female chairman of the former Blaenavon Urban District Council in 1970, she went on to become a Gwent county councillor and was elected mayor of Torfaen in 1983, and after some time away from politics, she was re-elected to the town council in 2017, where she was named Mayor of Blaenavon – aged 93.

South Wales Argus:

Phyllis Roberts, pictured in 2017

At the time of her resignation, Mrs Roberts said: “I would like to thank all my fellow councillors and the clerk for the support I’ve had during my time in office – it’s been a real pleasure to serve with you all.

“I wish whoever succeeds me all the very best in their role as a councillor.”

Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Alan Jones said: “Jayne will be a fantastic asset to the council.

“She has vast experience and skills in a wide range of roles, and has already proved how deeply she cares about her community.

“We’re all very excited about the contribution we know she’s going to make to our work, and the energy and enthusiasm for the position that we can clearly see she has. Welcome Cllr Skyrme.”