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Former merchant seaman elected as Anglesey Council’s new Chair

Cllr Glyn Haynes - the new Chair of the Isle of Anglesey County Council

A FORMER merchant seaman, a lifelong trade unionist and champion of the armed forces has been elected as Anglesey council’s new Chair.

Glyn Haynes from Holyhead has been elected for  the Isle of Anglesey County Council’s prestigious role, for 2024/25.

Councillor Haynes was previously elected as the Council’s civic head in May, 2021 – but his year in office had been severely impacted by the Covid pandemic.

At a meeting of the county council’s Annual General Meeting the honour was again bestowed upon him, on Tuesday, May 21.

Stepping down from the role was Lliwy ward Councillor Margaret Murley Roberts.

She paid a touching tribute to the late former councillor and broadcaster, ‘friend to many’ Vaughan Hughes, during the hand over.

“I have enjoyed my time as the chair, but losing Vaughan at the end of December was a huge blow. I know I would not be standing here without him,” she said.

She thanked colleagues and staff for “help and assistance” over the year and members and officers for their “patience and collaboration.”

Her year had seen her getting involved with a number of memorable activities.

“Some things stick in my mind,  such as the Anglesey Show,  singing  Christmas carols here with Beaumaris band and visiting old peoples homes.”

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But a “highlight” had been  attending the Marian-glas Eisteddfod in its 100th year.

She had competed there over 50 years ago, and seeing the children and young people competing at the Eisteddfod she said, was “really encouraging and gave hope for the future.”

During her year she had also wanted to support a charity benefiting local people, and had backed the food bank, and had handed over a cheque the day before, for £4,300.

Congratulating Glyn on his success, she said  “I know he will be an exceptional Chair.”

Taking up the chain of office, Councillor Haynes said: “I have big shoes to fill after Margaret.”

He thanked  “fellow councillors for electing me and giving me the opportunity and privilege of serving the people of Ynys Môn”-  as the county council’s civic head for 2024/25.

He looked forward to being “a good ambassador” for the county council over the next 12 months.

He was first elected on to the county council in May 2017, then serving the Caergybi Ward. He is now one of two county councillors representing the Parc a’r Mynydd Ward.

He hails from a long line of merchant seamen from the port town of Holyhead. His father and grandfather before him both took to the sea and Glyn did the same at the tender age of 15.

His grandfather, and both his brothers, also worked on the Anglesey whaling ships.

After returning to shore in his late 30s, Glyn worked at Eaton/MEM Electrical in Holyhead for many years and became full time Union Convenor before being made redundant.

He is also a trade union tutor and credits his union activities as the driver behind his passion for local politics.

He has been active in the trade union movement all his life and has been a union member for more than 50 years. He has been with Unite the Union for many years and is a senior activist and official within Wales sitting on the Unite Executive Committee.

Councillor Haynes also serves as the county council’s Armed Forces Champion for Ynys Môn.  He has nominated the Military Veterans Hub, which recently opened at RAF Valley, as the Chair’s Charity for the year ahead.

Last year, he was “honoured and delighted” to have been invited to a garden party in the same week as the Coronation of King Charles III.

Only three Royal garden parties are hosted at the palace annually, but Cllr Haynes was honoured to attend the one on May 9, 2023 – only three days after the Westminster Abbey Coronation, on Saturday, May 6.

Twice before Cllr Haynes had received the special invite when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would have been in attendance –  however the events were cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

In his spare time, Councillor Haynes enjoys walking and exploring Ynys Môn and the wider North Wales countryside, as well as cooking and reading.

His children live and work locally apart from his eldest son who is a doctor in Perth, Western Australia.

Anglesey County Council’s new Chair Cllr Glyn Haynes and Vice Chair Cllr Non Dafydd

Councillor Non Dafydd, who represents the Canolbarth Môn Ward, was also elected as the Vice-Chairman for 2024/25 accepting her chain of office from Cllr Haynes.

She thanked her ward  for “electing me as a councillor, every councillor who has shown their faith in me to take on this privilege to be the vice-chair of Anglesey County Council”.