TWO TORFAEN community councils were celebrating after being recognised at the One Voice Wales awards.

The awards are an annual celebration of the work of community, town and parish councils in Wales.

For its ‘Healthy Blaenavon’ initiative, Blaenavon Town Council were awarded the Best Council Service of the Year Award.

The council appointed Rebecca Smith as Healthy Blaenavon Officer last summer to promote both physical and mental wellbeing in the town.

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(Emma Davies McIntosh, Torfaen Service development lead; clerk to Blaenavon Town Council Kevin Warren; Healthy Blaenavon officer Rebecca Smith; and project lead Councillor Gareth Davies. Picture: Blaenavon Town Council.)

More than 400 residents have taken advantage of the service, which includes weekly workshops on mental health for 14 to 25-year-olds, art for over 18s and the award-winning Intergenerational project.

Cllr Jac Denley-Jones, Mayor of Blaenavon when the project was launched, said: “We’re thrilled that our work is continually being showcased by One Voice Wales.

“The progress we’ve made during the past three years has been extremely pleasing and is widely recognised across the sector.

“As a small council with a small budget and officer team of just three part-timers, we are certainly punching way above our weight - and I pay tribute to our staff for helping the Council function the way we have been.”

Meanwhile, Cwmbran Community Council was chosen as joint-winner of the Best Heritage Project award for its work surrounding the 70th anniversary of Cwmbran as a new town.

The judges highlighted events such as the Time Bubble exhibition and the council’s commitment to planting 70,000 trees to mark the anniversary.

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(Councillor Anthony Bird, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, and Lynne Howles at the launch of the TimeBubble exhibition. Picture: TimeBubble.)

Chairman of the council Cllr Anthony Bird said: "It's very gratifying for the council to be chosen for this prestigious award and really shows how the 70th anniversary of Cwmbran managed to capture the hearts and minds of the people.

“From the fantastic Time Bubble Project and Exhibition, to commemorative plaques, multiple birthday cakes, the promise of a future woodland and even a letter from the palace, this award is testament to the fact that Cwmbran knows how to celebrate."

Both Blaenavon and Cwmbran councils were commended in the Best Community Engagement award, and Cwmbran Community Council were highly commended in the ‘Best Devolution of Service or Asset Transfer Initiative’ award as it took over the running of the Cwmbran Big Event.

Cllr Bird said: “It’s also a pleasure to see that the council received commendations for the much-loved Cwmbran Big Event in two award categories and we all look forward to the event’s return next year.”