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Cymraeg

Long-serving councillor becomes Lord Mayor

Two of Swansea's longest-serving councillors have become Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of the city. Councillor Peter Black, CBE, a Cwmbrwla ward member was inaugurated at a special ceremony at the historic Guildhall today (Friday 17).

Peter Black and Mark Child

As Lord Mayor he will have an important civic and ceremonial role as the city's official ambassador in its 50th anniversary year. His year of duties will be varied and include receiving visiting dignitaries and presiding at civic functions. He will also be involved in raising money for local good causes.

His deputy this year will be Cllr Mark Child.

Cllr Black was born and brought up in The Wirral and moved to Swansea in 1978 where he studied at Swansea University, graduating in English and History.

He is a former Leader of the Opposition on Swansea Council and has also served as the Chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. In 1999, he was elected as a Welsh Liberal Democrat member of the new Welsh Assembly, as a list member for South Wales West.

A former Deputy Minister for local government in the 2000-03 Labour / Welsh Liberal Democrat coalition administration, he chaired the Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Committee in the second Assembly and then sat on the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee and the Finance Committee.

He was also a member of the Assembly Commission with responsibility for ICT and Sustainability.

Cllr Black lost his seat in the Welsh Assembly Election of 2016 and was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours. He has just published his first novel.

He said, "It is an incredible honour to be serving the people of Swansea as Lord Mayor, particularly this year when we are celebrating its 50th anniversary as a city. It is a huge privilege to be nominated by my fellow councillors and I am looking forward to an exciting and active year ahead.

He added: "I've lived and worked in South Wales and Swansea for just over 40 years and this year I am also celebrating 35 years as a member of Swansea Council."

Cllr Black will be supported in his role by his wife, Angela, as Lady Mayoress. The couple met at a Liberal Democrats conference in 1997 where Mrs Black was working for S4C.

Every Lord Mayor takes the opportunity to use the office to become a fundraising cheerleader for charities close to their hearts.

This year Cllr Black and will be supporting three charities; Unity in Diversity, the homelessness charity Crisis and the Swansea branch of the RSPCA at Llys Nini.

Unity in Diversity runs twice-weekly sessions providing food, support and learning opportunities to asylum seekers and refugees in the Swansea area. Based in the former URC church in Carmarthen Road and run entirely by dedicated volunteers, they have helped over 500 people of 40+ nationalities and ethnic origins since they started five years ago.

Crisis has recently established themselves in the YMCA in Swansea. The Skylight South Wales service is helping people directly out of homelessness. People learn new skills, gain qualifications and improve their health and wellbeing in order to move in to work and accommodation.

The local branch of the RSPCA was established by animal-loving volunteers in the Swansea and Neath areas nearly 200 years ago. The charity provides animal welfare throughout Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend and parts of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cardiff council areas. Llys Nini helps over 2,000 animals each year and rehomes many of those, including Cllr Black's two rescue cats.

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