I know that the terrible events that unfolded 53 years ago have been in the thoughts of many of us this week.
It’s impossible to think about what happened in Aberfan without feeling a range of emotions. They take us from heartbreak at the preventable loss of life and the negligence that caused it and anger at the betrayal that denied the survivors the compensation that many kind souls had donated to them.
It’s a wound that time has not been able to heal and I know that there are still people living in our communities today that continue to live with their loss on a daily basis, many living with post-traumatic stress disorder, plagued by the memories of that terrible day.
We can never turn back the clock to undo that darkest of days, but we can make sure that we never forget the lives lost due to British Government negligence.
Nor will we forget the sacrifice of those such as Nansi Williams, the school meals clerk who used her body to shield five children who survived. She gave her own life to save others.
People will remember Aberfan in different ways. Some will share their memories while others will grieve quietly. What’s important is that we remember.
Caerphilly County Borough Council
My Plaid Cymru colleagues at Caerphilly council have recently launched a petition in order to try to prevent the council from switching off residential street lights between midnight and 5:30am.
Switching off the lights can make people feel unsafe in their communities, something that should never happen.
You can add your voice to the campaign to make the council rethink this policy and involve the local community in the decision by clicking on the Change.org petition.
I know that many local residents are sick and tired of seeing negative stories about the council in the news, whether it’s because of the £6m senior officers pay scandal, the fact that the council leader has resigned following allegations of impropriety or valued services being cut.
I’d like to congratulate the campaigners who succeeded in forcing the council to defer its decision to close Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre and I hope this will be followed by a decision to cancel the closure altogether.
It’s difficult to escape the conclusion the current Labour administration is doing terrible job of running the council, but the Pontllanfraith u-turn shows that when communities band together, the council be stopped from driving through damaging measures.
So let’s work together to keep the lights on in Caerphilly.