Well, I certainly never thought this day would come. It’s 20 years since I started the ‘Official Ponty Town website & message board’. I started it with two things in mind: one, to teach myself html and web design, and two, to try to highlight the problems with our town centre and encourage those in power to do something to improve things. Well, one out of two ain’t bad.
Over the last 20 years the site has had millions of hits and given the people a platform to speak out against incompetence, apathy and downright criminality within the borough. Personally, I’ve been bullied, harassed and threatened with legal action because myself and others dared to tell a few uncomfortable truths.
We produced a pub guide that had landlords tamping, exposed corruption within public office and hopefully gave you a few laughs along the way. The once infamous message board finally caved in to the pressure of social media and we’ve now moved to Facebook. A defeat for free speech and a victory for capitalism but at least you can still have a rant. And all this for free.
Will we still be here 20 years from now? Up to you – the people of Ponty. Use this website (read the stories, share them, click the Google Ads to help pay for the site, shop a little via our links), contribute to the Facebook group and we’ll probably carry on. If you don’t, we won’t.
Have we achieved anything? Some would say very little although others might argue differently. What I do know though is that having a voice can help people feel better and if all we’ve done is provide a place for locals to vent their anger, suggest improvements to our local environment, regain some much-needed community spirit and offer solutions to the many problems that a run-down, socially deprived area like ours has then it’s been worthwhile. It’s a start anyway.
So, once again, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday and over to you Ponty people…
P.S. The committee meets most Fridays in either the Llanover, CYB, Spoons or The Wonky if you want to say hello.