County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001; the Local Government Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities; these were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time — Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow — were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police and fire; when county councils were first created in 1889, it was decided that to let them have authority over large towns or cities would be impractical, so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, thus independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under.
Some cities and towns were independent counties corporate, most were to become county boroughs. Ten county boroughs were proposed; the Local Government Act 1888 as passed required a population of over 50,000 except in the case of existing counties corporate. This resulted in 61 county boroughs in two in Wales. Several exceptions were allowed for historic towns: Bath and Oxford were all under the 50,000 limit in the 1901 census; some of the smaller counties corporate—Berwick upon Tweed, Lincoln, Poole and Haverfordwest—did not become county boroughs, although Canterbury, with a population under 25,000, did. Various new county boroughs were constituted in the following decades as more boroughs reached the 50,000 minimum and promoted Acts to constitute them county boroughs; the granting of county borough status was the subject of much disagreement between the large municipal boroughs and the county councils. The population limit provided county councils with a disincentive to allow mergers or boundary amendments to districts that would create authorities with large populations, as this would allow them to seek county borough status and remove the tax base from the administrative county.
County boroughs to be constituted in this era were a mixed bag, including some towns that would continue to expand such as Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea. Other towns such as Burton upon Trent and Dewsbury were not to increase in population much past 50,000. 1913 saw the attempts of Luton and Cambridge to gain county borough status defeated in the House of Commons, despite the approval of the Local Government Board — the removal of Cambridge from Cambridgeshire would have reduced the income of Cambridgeshire County Council by over half. Upon recommendation of a commission chaired by the Earl of Onslow, the population threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, by the Local Government Act 1926, which made it much harder to expand boundaries; the threshold was raised to 100,000 by the Local Government Act 1958. The viability of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil came into question in the 1930s. Due to a decline in the heavy industries of the town, by 1932 more than half the male population was unemployed, resulting in high municipal rates in order to make public assistance payments.
At the same time the population of the borough was lower than when it had been created in 1908. A royal commission was appointed in May 1935 to "investigate whether the existing status of Merthyr Tydfil as a county borough should be continued, if not, what other arrangements should be made"; the commission reported the following November, recommended that Merthyr should revert to the status of a non-county borough, that public assistance should be taken over by central government. In the event county borough status was retained by the town, with the chairman of the Welsh Board of Health appointed as administrative adviser in 1936. After the Second World War the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was suspended, pending a local government review. A government white paper published in 1945 stated that "it is expected that there will be a number of Bills for extending or creating county boroughs" and proposed the creation of a boundary commission to bring coordination to local government reform.
The policy in the paper ruled out the creation of new county boroughs in Middlesex "owing to its special problems". The Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed on 26 October 1945, under the chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, delivering its report in 1947; the Commission recommended that towns with a population of 200,000 or more should become one-tier "new counties", with "new county boroughs" having a population of 60,000 - 200,000 being "most-purpose authorities", with the county council of the administrative county providing certain limited services. The report envisaged the creation of 47 two-tiered "new counties", 21 one-tiered "new counties" and 63 "new county boroughs"; the recommendations of the Commission extended to a review of the division of functions between different tiers of local government, thus fell outside its terms of reference, its report was not acted upon. The next attempt at reform was by the Local Government Act 1958, which established the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Government
The Borough of Lliw Valley was one of the four local government districts of West Glamorgan, Wales from 1974 to 1996. It was formed by the merger of the Llwchwr urban district and Pontardawe Rural District, under the Local Government Act 1972, it was abolished in 1996, with part of its area becoming part of the new Swansea unitary authority, part becoming part of Neath Port Talbot unitary authority. Communities becoming part of Swansea: Clydach Gorseinon Gowerton Grovesend Llangyfelach Llwchwr Mawr Penllergaer Pontarddulais PontlliwCommunities becoming part of Neath Port Talbot: Cilybebyll Cwmllynfell Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Pontardawe Trebanos YstalyferaThe old Lliw Valley had two football clubs in the Welsh Football League - Garden Village and Pontardawe Town
Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot is a county borough and one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. Neath Port Talbot is the eighth most populous local authority area in Wales and the third most populous county borough; the actual population taken at the 2011 census was 139,812. The coastal areas are English-speaking, however there are many Welsh-speaking communities in the Valleys to the north of the borough; the county borough borders the other principal areas of Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf to the east and Carmarthenshire to the north and Swansea to the west. Its principal towns are Port Talbot and Pontardawe; the local authority area stretches from the coast to the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The majority of land is upland or semi-upland in character, 43% is covered by forestry with major conifer plantations in upland areas. Most of the lower lying flat land is near the coast around Port Talbot. An extensive dune system stretches along much of the coast, broken by river mouths and areas of development.
The upland areas are cut by five valleys: Vale of Neath, Dulais Valley, Afan Valley, Swansea Valley, Upper Amman Valley. Modern settlement patterns reflect the industrial history of the area, with urban development along the flatter areas of the valleys and some parts of the coast; the largest town is Neath with a population of 47,020, followed by Port Talbot, Briton Ferry and Glynneath. The majority of the population live in the coastal plain around Port Talbot and the land around the River Neath in the vicinity of Neath. Much of the larger towns in the borough lie within the Swansea Urban Area; the population in the region reached its peak in the 1930s. Census figures show a population of 151,563 in 1931; the population has shown a steady decline throughout the rest of the 20th century. The population stood at 134,471 in 2001. In the 1990s, most areas within the region showed a fall or little change in population with the notable exception of Bryncoch South and Margam where the population grew by 47.29% and 41.36% respectively.
Local council estimates show the population to have grown during the 2000s. Neath Port Talbot was created from the former districts of Neath, Port Talbot and part of Lliw Valley on 1 April 1996 as Neath and Port Talbot. At the time of the reorganization, many local people expected that Neath and Port Talbot districts would become separate unitary authorities, there were protests when the new authority was announced; the whole of the Neath Port Talbot area was once part of the county of West Glamorgan, which in turn was part of the historic county of Glamorgan. Since local government re-organisation in 1996, Neath Port Talbot is governed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. Neath Port Talbot is a staunch Labour stronghold, who have been in power since the authority's formation in 1996; the unitary authority contains two whole constituencies which are: Aberavon, current AM is David Rees, Labour since 2011 Neath, current AM is Jeremy Miles, Labour since 2016 Aberavon, current MP is Stephen Kinnock, Labour since 2015 Neath, current MP is Christina Rees, Labour since 2015 In 1991 Neath & Port Talbot was a distinct Travel to Work Area, but the 2001-based revision has merged the locality into a wider Swansea Bay Travel to Work Area.
In June 2008, the economic activity and employment rates in Neath Port Talbot were below the Welsh average. However, earnings for full-time workers were higher than either the British average. Manufacturing accounts for over 22% of jobs in the county borough compared to under than 14% in Wales as a whole. Tata is the largest employer with 3,000 staff. Port Talbot is the site for Neath Port Talbot Hospital, situated on Baglan Way, Port Talbot; the local Neath Port Talbot Council is the education authority in the area which operates primary schools and secondary schools within the county. The local education authority operates 6 infant schools, 6 junior schools, 56 primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 3 special schools. Further Education in Neath Port Talbot is provided by a range of institutions. St. Joseph’s Catholic School & Sixth Form Centre in Port Talbot and Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera have traditional sixth form settings. NPTC Group operates from several sites within the county borough; the largest sites are located in Port Talbot and Pontardawe.
The first dedicated higher education site in Neath Port Talbot opened in 2015 when Swansea University opened its science and innovation campus in Crymlyn Burrows. The University of South Wales has a campus located at Baglan Energy Park in Port Talbot; the Baglan campus houses Development Centre. A separate daily edition of the South Wales Evening Post is published for the Neath Port Talbot area; the paper's publisher, Reach plc produces a free weekly paper, the Neath Port Talbot Courier, inserted in Thursday's edition of the South Wales Evening Post. The local council publishes a quarterly, Community Spirit and funded in conjunction with seven other public sector partners. Community radio station is XS broadcasts to both Port Talbot. Nation Radio broadcast to the wider South Wales region from studios in Neath, but is now based in Car
The Welsh Dragon appears on the national flag of Wales. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise Wales is in the Historia Brittonum, written around AD 829, but it is popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders, its association with these leaders along with other evidence from archaeology and documentary history led many to suppose that it evolved from an earlier Romano-British national symbol. During the reigns of the Tudor monarchs, the red dragon was used as a supporter in the English Crown's coat of arms; the red dragon is seen as symbolising all things Welsh, is used by many public and private institutions. These include the Welsh Government, Visit Wales, the dragon's tongue is in use with the Welsh Language Society and numerous local authorities including Blaenau Gwent, Carmarthenshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf and sports bodies, including the Sport Wales National Centre, the Football Association of Wales, Wrexham A. F. C. Newport Gwent Dragons, London Welsh RFC.
The Welsh Dragon is one of The Queen's Beasts. In the Mabinogion story Lludd and Llefelys, the red dragon fights with an invading White Dragon, his pained shrieks cause women to animals to perish and plants to become barren. Lludd, king of Britain, goes to his wise brother Llefelys in France. Llefelys tells him to dig a pit in the centre of Britain, fill it with mead, cover it with cloth. Lludd does this, the dragons drink the mead and fall asleep. Lludd imprisons them, still wrapped in their cloth, in Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia; the tale is taken up in the Historia Brittonum. The dragons remain at Dinas Emrys for centuries; every night the castle foundations are demolished by unseen forces. Vortigern consults his advisers, who tell him to find a boy with no natural father, sacrifice him. Vortigern finds such a boy, supposed to be the wisest wizard to live. On hearing that he is to be put to death to end the demolition of the walls, the boy is dismissive of the advice, tells the king about the two dragons.
Vortigern excavates the hill. They continue their fight and the red dragon defeats the white dragon; the boy tells Vortigern that the white dragon symbolises the Saxons and that the red dragon symbolises the people of Vortigern. If Vortigern is accepted to have lived in the 5th century these people are the British whom the Saxons failed to subdue and who became the Welsh; the same story is repeated in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, where the red dragon is a prophecy of the coming of King Arthur. Note that Arthur's father was named Uther Pendragon. Owain Glyndŵr's banner known as Y Ddraig Aur or "The Golden Dragon", it was famously raised over Caernarfon during the Battle of Tuthill in 1401 against the English. The flag has ancient origins. Henry Tudor flew the red dragon of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon as his banner, overlaid on a green and white field representing the Tudor House, when he marched through Wales on his way to Bosworth Field. After the battle the flag was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral to be blessed.
In 1953, the red dragon badge of Henry VII was given an augmentation of honour. The augmented badge is blazoned: Within a circular riband Argent fimbriated Or bearing the motto Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN, in letters Vert, ensigned with a representation of the Crown proper, an escutcheon per fesse Argent and Vert and thereon the Red Dragon passant. Winston Churchill, the prime minister, despised the badge's design, as is revealed in the following Cabinet minute from 1953: P. M. Odious design expressing nothing, but spite, ill-will and monstrosity. Words are unduly flattering to Bevan. Ll. G. Wd. rather be on R Arms. This will be somethg. We get no recognition in Union – badge or flags. In 1956, this badge was added to the arms of the Welsh capital city Cardiff by placing it on collars around the necks of the two supporters of the shield; the badge was the basis of a flag of Wales in which it was placed on a background divided horizontally with the top half white and bottom half green. In 1959, Government use of this flag was dropped in favour of the current flag at the urging of the Gorsedd of Bards.
The badge is used by the Wales Office and is printed on Statutory Instruments made by the National Assembly for Wales. The badge was used in the corporate logo of the Assembly until the "dynamic dragon" logo was adopted. There is a further badge for Wales, belonging to the Princes of Wales since 1901, of the red dragon on a mount but with a label of three points Argent about the shoulder to difference it from the monarch's badge; the badge became a part of the Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales by Royal Warrant. This Royal badge was supplanted by a new official Royal badge in 2008, which eliminated the red dragon altogether. Http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/flag/ Jobbins, Siôn T. The Red Dragon: The story of the Welsh flag, Tal-y-bont: Y Lolfa Lofmark
Clwyd is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the north-east corner of the country. To the north lies the Irish Sea, with the English counties of Cheshire to the east and Shropshire to the south-east; the Welsh counties of Powys and Gwynedd lie to the west respectively. Clwyd shares a maritime boundary with the English county of Merseyside along the River Dee. Between 1974 and 1996, it was a county with a county council, one of the eight counties into which Wales was divided, was subdivided into six districts. In 1996, the county of Clwyd was abolished, the new unitary authorities of Wrexham, Conwy County Borough and Flintshire were created; this area of north-eastern Wales has been settled since prehistoric times. They built their castles at strategic locations as they advanced and retreated, but in the end England prevailed, Edward I conquered the country in 1282; the Act of Union in 1535 incorporated Wales under the English Crown and made it subject to English law. Traditionally, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy of this part of Wales, but with the Industrial Revolution, the North Wales Coalfield was developed and parts of eastern Clwyd around the Dee estuary and Wrexham became industrialised.
The advent of the railway running from Chester along the North Wales coast in the mid-19th century made it easy for urban dwellers from Lancashire and Cheshire to visit the seaside towns of North Wales, nowadays, tourism is the main source of income in Clwyd. North Wales has had human settlements since prehistoric times. By the time the Romans reached Britain, the area, now Clwyd was occupied by the Celtic Deceangli tribe, they lived in a chain of hill forts running through the Clwydian Range and their tribal capital was Canovium, at an important crossing of the River Conwy. This fell to the Romans, who built their own fort here, in about 75 AD. After the Roman departure from Britain in 410 AD, the successor states of Gwynedd and Powys controlled what is now Clwyd. From about 800 onwards, a series of dynastic marriages led to Rhodri Mawr inheriting the kingdoms of Gwynedd and Powys. After his death, this kingdom was divided among his three sons and further strife followed: not only Welsh battles were fought, but there were many raids by Danes and Saxons.
The Normans conquest of England at first had little effect on North Wales. This was to change as the city of Chester on the River Dee became the base for successive campaigns against the country in the 13th century; the coastal plain of Clwyd was the main invasion route, a number of castles were built there to assist these advances. The castles at Flint and Rhuddlan date from this period, were the first to be built by Edward I of England in North Wales during his successful conquest in 1282. After this, the rule of the Welsh princes was at an end and Wales was annexed to England; the country was known as the Principality of Wales from 1216 to 1536. From 1301, the Crown's lands in north and west Wales, including Clwyd, formed part of the appanage of England's heir apparent, given the title "Prince of Wales". Under the Act of Union of 1535, Wales became permanently incorporated under the English Crown and subject to English law. Although the Industrial Revolution did not much affect the rural parts of Clwyd, there was considerable industrial activity in the North Wales Coalfield in the north-east of the county around Wrexham.
The Bersham Ironworks at Bersham, in the same area, was at the forefront of technological advances and was most famous for being the original working site of the industrialist John Wilkinson who invented new processes for boring cannons. The Williams-Wynn family of Wynnstay had become rich after the dissolution of the monasteries and owned vast estates in Clwyd with resources including lead and copper as well as corn and timber; the county of Clwyd is in the northeastern corner of Wales. It is bounded by the Irish Sea to the north, the Welsh counties of Gwynedd to the west and Powys to the south, the English counties of Shropshire and Cheshire to the southeast and east respectively. Other large rivers in the county include the River Alyn, a tributary of the Dee, the River Clwyd and the River Conwy in the west; the northern coastal strip of the county is developed for tourism and has many resorts, including Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Abergele and Prestatyn. In the northeast lies Deeside, the coastal plain beside the Dee estuary, this part of Clwyd is developed for industry.
The area around Wrexham and the commuter settlements close to Chester are heavily built up. To the west of this is a ridge of mountains with a steep scarp slope to the west, the Clwydian Range; the highest point of these hills is Moel Famau at 1,820 ft. The north-central part of the county is the broad Vale of Clwyd, the best agricultural land lies here. To the south of this, the land is much higher and more rugged, the Denbigh Moors and the Berwyn range are here; the central and western parts of the county are much more rural than the coastal area and the east, with part of the Snowdonia National Park lying in the western part of the county. The population as of 2007 is estimated at 491,100, based on figures for the four component unitary authority areas. Clwyd is bordered by the preserved counties of Gwynedd to the west, Powys to the south, S
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as bitterns, together with the zigzag heron, or zigzag bittern, in the monotypic genus Zebrilus, form a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. Egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, tend to be named differently because they are white or have decorative plumes in breeding plumage. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks; the classification of the individual heron/egret species is fraught with difficulty, no clear consensus exists about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera and Egretta. The relationships of the genera in the family are not resolved. However, one species considered to constitute a separate monotypic family, the Cochlearidae or the boat-billed heron, is now regarded as a member of the Ardeidae.
Although herons resemble birds in some other families, such as the storks, ibises and cranes, they differ from these in flying with their necks retracted, not outstretched. They are one of the bird groups that have powder down; some members of this group nest colonially in trees, while others, notably the bitterns, use reed beds. The herons are medium - to large-sized birds with long necks, they exhibit little sexual dimorphism in size. The smallest species is considered the little bittern, which can measure under 30 cm in length, although all the species in the genus Ixobrychus are small and many broadly overlap in size; the largest species of heron is the goliath heron. The necks are able to kink in an S-shape, due to the modified shape of the cervical vertebrae, of which they have 20–21; the neck is able to retract and extend, is retracted during flight, unlike most other long-necked birds. The neck is longer in the day herons than the night bitterns; the legs are long and strong and in every species are unfeathered from the lower part of the tibia.
In flight, the legs and feet are held backward. The feet of herons have thin toes, with three forward-pointing ones and one pointing backward; the bill is long and harpoon-like. It can vary from fine, as in the agami heron, to thick as in the grey heron; the most atypical bill is owned by the boat-billed heron, which has a thick bill. The bill, as well as other bare parts of the body, is yellow, black, or brown in colour, although this can vary during the breeding season; the wings are broad and long, exhibiting 10 or 11 primary feathers, 15–20 secondaries. and 12 rectrices. The feathers of the herons are soft and the plumage is blue, brown, grey, or white, can be strikingly complex. Amongst the day herons, little sexual dimorphism in plumage is seen. Many species have different colour morphs. In the Pacific reef heron, both dark and light colour morphs exist, the percentage of each morph varies geographically. White morphs only occur in areas with coral beaches; the herons are a widespread family with a cosmopolitan distribution.
They exist on all continents except Antarctica, are present in most habitats except the coldest extremes of the Arctic high mountains, the driest deserts. All species are associated with water, they are predominantly found in lowland areas, although some species live in alpine areas, the majority of species occurs in the tropics. The herons are a mobile family, with most species being at least migratory; some species are migratory, for example the grey heron, sedentary in Britain, but migratory in Scandinavia. Birds are inclined to disperse after breeding, but before the annual migration, where the species is colonial, searching out new feeding areas and reducing the pressures on feeding grounds near the colony; the migration occurs at night as individuals or in small groups. The herons and bitterns are carnivorous; the members of this family are associated with wetlands and water, feed on a variety of live aquatic prey. Their diet includes a wide variety of aquatic animals, including fish, amphibians, crustaceans and aquatic insects.
Individual species may be generalists or specialise in certain prey types, such as the yellow-crowned night heron, which specialises in crustaceans crabs. Many species opportunistically take larger prey, including birds and bird eggs and more carrion. More herons eating acorns and grains have been reported, but most vegetable matter consumed is accidental; the most common hunting technique is for the bird to sit motionless on the edge of or standing in shallow water and to wait until prey comes within range. Birds may either do this from an upright posture, giving them a wider field of view for seeing prey, or from a crouched position, more cryptic and means the bill is closer to the prey when it is located. Having seen prey, the head is moved from side to side, so that the heron can calculate the position of the prey in the water and compensate for refraction, the bill is used to spear the prey. In addition to sitting and waiting, herons may feed more actively, they may walk around or l
Pontardawe – bridge on the Tawe – is a town in the Swansea Valley in Wales. The community of Pontardawe, with a population of 7,000, comprises the electoral wards of Pontardawe and Trebanos, is served by an elected Town Council and forms part of the county borough of Neath Port Talbot. Pontardawe first came into existence as a small settlement on the northwestern bank of the Tawe at the point where the drovers' road from Neath to Llandeilo crossed the river and today's A4067 road which runs up the valley from Swansea towards Brecon, its best known landmark is the tall spire of St Peter's church which dominates the centre of the town from its site on a high point of the valley floor close to the Swansea Canal. The name first appears on a map in 1729, as "Pont-ar-Dawye", in Emmanuel Bowen's New and Accurate Map of South Wales. By 1796, the Swansea Canal had connected Pontardawe with Swansea Docks; the accessibility by canal enabled the industrial development of the area, which started with the Ynysderw ironworks in 1835.
Close to the ironworks and steel works became the basis of the town's development during the latter part of the 19th century, with exports all over the world. The industrialist William Parsons of Neath developed the town's early industry, but from 1861 onwards the Gilbertson family became the most important proprietors of the town; as well as metal work, there were significant coal mines in the area, pottery works at Ynysmeudwy. These industries declined in the middle of the 20th century. None of the heavy industry remains. From 1861 until its closure in 1964, a railway line connected Pontardawe with the rest of the valley and further afield; the Anglican church of St Peter, financed by William Parsons, was completed in 1862. The church has unusual French-style architecture, is still today one of the main features of the town. Features of the town include the Pontardawe Arts Centre; the old stone bridge of Pontardawe was built by William Edwards of Eglwsilan, a famous bridge builder. He built the Old Bridge at Pontypridd, the longest single-span bridge in the world when it was constructed, as well as the bridge at Cenarth in west Wales.
Edwards was responsible for the design of Morriston, a new town developed by the Swansea Valley industrialist Sir John Morris. Prior to local government reorganisation in 1974, Pontardawe and district was served by Pontardawe Rural District Council. Pontardawe Town council is controlled by Plaid Cymru; the town is the location of the Constituency office of Jeremy Miles AM. Pontardawe is part of the South Wales West regional constituency served by Suzy Davies AM, Caroline Jones AM, Dai Lloyd AM and Bethan Jenkins AM; the Pontardawe Festival of world music and dance was held at a weekend in August each year from 1978 and there are regular meetings of music groups such as the long-established Valley Folk Club, held on the first and third Friday of each month at the Ivy Bush Hotel. Many of the pubs in Pontardawe feature live music at the weekends; the Pontardawe Arts Centre stages quality performances by musicians of both national and international fame. Pontardawe has an active film society which shows about 20 films selected by its membership each year.
The first phase of a new retail park on Ffordd Parc Ynysderw, close to Cwmtawe Community School, opened in July 2008. Argos and Focus DIY were the first two retail companies to open stores; the Poundstretcher discount chain has occupied a unit at the site, while frozen foods specialists Farmfoods opened 8,000 sq ft premises in March 2009. Since the Focus chain liquidated in early 2011, a Home Bargains store now occupies the former Focus store; the Tesco supermarket in Pontardawe plans to expand its store by adding an escalator-accessible first-floor area which will include a cafe. As part of the planning deal the company is to make a sum of £100,000 available for local development of the town. In 2008 The Pontardawe Chamber for Trade & Commerce was formed, its goal is to promote business in the area, rekindle a sense of community in and around the Town Centre, subsequently lost by the creation of the nearby superstores. The Chamber of Trade was active in creating a Tourism Map of the Area, holds seasonal Festivals in the Town Centre.
There are plans to re-instate the Pontardawe Market, revive Pontardawe's historical status as a Market Town. Notable people born or raised in Pontardawe: D. Gwenallt Jones poet and scholar Rachel Thomas actress Mary Hopkin folk singer Lloyd Woolf comedy actor and writer Rosie Ribbons singer-songwriter Pontardawe has a cricket team, a rugby club – Pontardawe RFC – and a football club; the playing fields adjoining the Pontardawe Leisure Centre at Parc Ynysderw are one of the UK's 471 King George Fields established as a memorial to King George V. They were transferred to their present site in 2003 and occupy land which belonged to the tinplate works but is now owned and maintained by the local authority; the Cwmtawe rugby sevens competition, held at Parc Ynysderw, attracts entries from wide. Pontardawe has an Air Cadets unit - 1358 Squadron, open to both boys and girls aged 12 and 18. Activities include flying, adventure training, first aid, D of E award to name but a few; the Squadr