This article appeared in Local View
A few weeks ago, the Labour Party organised a social evening to celebrate the excellent local government election results. The venue was the Penallta Rugby Club. But as well as celebrating the fact that Labour has won the leadership of Caerphilly County Borough Council, the 150 or so Party members also paid tribute to a colleague who had given outstanding service to the community over many years.
Reg Phillips was presented with a merit award for a lifetime of service by the former First Minister Rhodri Morgan. Reg is sadly confined to a wheelchair these days, but his mind is still sharp and his humour undiminished. A native of Senghenydd, Reg represented the area on the old Mid Glamorgan County Council. He was the Secretary of the Aneurin Labour Club in Penyrheol for a number of years and was unfailing in his support for community groups, especially the old age pensioners, in his home village.
A few weeks ago, Reg made something of a comeback. He stood for the Penyrheol, Trecenydd, Energlyn Community Council and was elected as a Labour candidate. Reg has got a wealth of experience and knowledge to contribute to the Community Council, but his election was also a tribute to his years of selfless service.
It is important that Reg and people like him are acknowledged and thanked both by the Labour Party and by the broader community. When all too many people are cynical about public service, it is important that the Reg Phillipss of this world are held up as shining examples of the very best in dedication and community commitment.
On 3 May there were a large number of new and younger councillors elected for the first time. Many of them are full of enthusiasm and are impatient to get things done. This is tremendous and most encouraging, but it is also important for up-and-coming councillors especially to learn from and be inspired by the good example of Reg Phillips. As someone commented after Reg’s presentation, our new councillors won’t go far wrong if they are as loyal, committed, principled and hard working as Reg.