Rhondda Cynon Taf

Nos Galan Races wins award

The world-famous Nos Galan Road Races are officially the best 5K race in Wales once again, having been crowned the regional winner at the 2020 UK Running Awards.

Nos Galan
Nigel Owens MBE (left) & Guto Nyth Bran (right) Credit: Mountain Ash Studio & Nos Galan Road Races

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s flagship race event, held in Mountain Ash each New Year’s Eve, has now been shortlisted in the finals of the UK Running Awards in the 5K race category, up against some of the finest athletics events in the country.

The Nos Galan Road Races, which began back in 1958, is organised in conjunction with the Nos Galan Committee and the event attracts thousands of competitors and spectators to Rhondda Cynon Taf each year.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services and also Chair of the Nos Galan Committee, is urging the public to get behind the Nos Galan Road Races nomination.

Councillor Crimmings said: “It is brilliant news that our annual New Year’s Eve event in Mountain Ash is once again getting national recognition having once again been crowned a regional winner at the prestigious UK Running Awards.

“These awards celebrate the cream of the entire running industry in the UK – to even be nominated at such a prestigious awards ceremony is a huge achievement – but to win a regional award once again is true testimony to the success of the Nos Galan Road Races.

“Each year we get overwhelming support from the public, who turn out in their thousands on the night to support us. Race places are also quickly claimed months ahead of the event.

“The Races have brought so much pleasure to so many people for over 60 years and now is your chance to say thank you and give something back. All it takes is one simple vote that will cost you absolutely nothing apart from just a few minutes of your time.”

The UK Running Awards is an annual ceremony celebrating the best of running and its culture around the country – from best fun runs and running events and marathons to best running shoes and the most innovative running apps.

The Nos Galan Road Races celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018 and attracts a record number of entrants each year, with race places snapped up months in advance of race night.

From young children to elite runners and fun runners, the Nos Galan Road Races are a part of our heritage and history, attracting competitors from all around the world.

The 2019 Nos Galan Mystery Runner, representing the memory of legendary Welsh athlete Guto Nyth Bran, was international rugby union referee Nigel Owens MBE.

The Council and Nos Galan Committee are continuing to monitor developments in line with the national guidance regarding coronavirus and will communicate any updates regarding the 2020 event at a later date.

You can vote for the Nos Galan Road Races to be crowned the best 5K race in the UK:

Pictures: Wayne Hankins/Mountain Ash Studio

Aberdare Interview News

EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s been a truly amazing experience for us all’ – Aberdare magician’s describe their Britain’s Got Talent audition

Earlier this year, James Piper and his two sons, Dylan & Joseph left the Cynon Valley and travelled to London for a magical audition on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

James & Dylan BGT

38-year-old James has reflected on that special moment. He also hopes to share ‘something amazing’ with the world, if they make it through to the live shows, which have been put on hold until later this year due to Covid-19.

James told Cynon Valley News,

“Britain’s Got Talent has been a truly amazing experience for us all as a family. We found out around Christmas 2019 that we were going to have an audition in front of the judges and from that point there was a mixture of emotions. We began practising every day since, until the day of the audition in January. Dylan’s twin brother, Joseph isn’t really interested in magic but I wanted to try and include him in the act because I knew that the memories of that day would stay with me forever. I wanted them both involved. He reluctantly agreed.

“In January, we set off on our journey to London, along with a few family members who came to support us. The process of trying to transport our large photo board from our home in Aberdare to the London Palladium was a trick in itself. We travelled by car, train, bus and on foot. Finally, we managed to get it there safely and in one piece.

“We were full of excitement the night before the audition. The following day, we woke early and set out for the London Palladium. I was excited and Dylan didn’t seem nervous in the slightest. He took the whole day in his stride. We arrived early and were taken to the holding room with my wife, Rebecca and Dylan’s twin brother, Joseph. It was fantastic to be in a room surrounded by the other acts, trying to guess what they may have been doing. Dylan and I spent most of the day being interviewed and they filmed the four of us walking through the streets of London. We even had tourists taking photos of us as they didn’t know whether we may have been famous. It was incredible. Around 3pm, a member of the BGT team came and told us we would be second on the stage and we were taken upstairs to prepare. As we stood backstage, Dylan, who had been full of confidence all day, began to get a little teary and said he was worried. He took himself off for a little walk and composed himself, a few minutes later returning and saying ‘we’ve got this Dad!’ I felt instant relief and knew he was going to be ok.

“We waited back stage. We were ready to go on. The sound of the buzzer echoed through the palladium, but this just made us want to do well all the more. A member of the crew took Dylan to take his place in the audience, and while Rebecca and Joseph stood side of stage, and after a brief chat with Ant and Dec, I walked out and stood on the star.

“Stood alone on stage, in a theatre of thousands, I didn’t feel in the least bit nervous, we had prepared. I was excited to share our magic with the judges, the audience and the people at home who would eventually be watching.

“The audition went better than we could have imagined, receiving two standing ovations and all four judges said yes. Stood on stage, looking out at a sea of people, including the judges, clapping and cheering was a really special moment and one that we will cherish as a family forever.

“Due to Covid-19, the live semi-finals have been put on hold until later this year. If we are lucky enough to make the live shows, we have something amazing planned that we hope the world will get to see.”

You can follow James & Dylan’s journey by following their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Pictures: ITV & James Piper

James & Dylan BGT. 2


Rob Brydon and Wynne Evans get together for evening of entertainment to support Tenovus Cancer Care

One of Wales’ favourite comedian, Rob Brydon, and BBC Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans are putting on an evening of entertainment to raise vital funds for Tenovus Cancer Care.

Rob & Wynne
Rob Brydon (left) & Wynne Evans (right)

Gavin and Stacey star Brydon has been raising thousands of pounds to help Tenovus Cancer Care support cancer patients and their loved ones.

‘A night in with Rob Brydon’ takes place on Friday 12th June and will be streamed live on the internet, with tickets to view the one-off special event costing £10.

It will be hosted by singer and broadcaster Wynne Evans, a fellow Tenovus Cancer Care patron, and also feature performances from the charity’s Sing with Us choirs and a live prize draw.

The tickets can be purchased by visiting

Coronavirus Politics

Beth Winter MP calls for recovery Universal Basic Income

Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter is calling on the UK Government to consider implementing a recovery Universal Basic Income to support people through the coronavirus pandemic.

Bethan Winter MP
Cynon Valley MP, Beth Winter.

Last week Beth Winter MP asked the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions whether the Government would consider a recovery Universal Basic Income in order, Beth says, ‘to make sure no-one is left behind in this time of crisis, and to potentially form the basis of a new welfare system.’

You can watch the Minister’s response here:

Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter says that the welfare system in this country is not fit for purpose and is in need of a radical overhaul.

“From the inadequacy of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), to the ongoing issues surrounding Universal Credit (UC) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the pandemic has shone a light on the failings of our current welfare system.”

“The measures which the Government did introduce, the furlough scheme, and support for the self-employed have been welcome, however they have also been full of gaps.”

“Millions of people in this country have been falling through the ‘safety net’ of the welfare system. After a decade of Tory austerity, this safety net has been so neglected, for so long, that it is now in tatters. It is vital that we replace our dysfunctional benefits system with one that provides financial security for everyone who needs it.”

“The Minister’s dismissive response to my question last week laid bare this Government’s disinterest in the problems faced by ordinary people. I will continue to press at every available opportunity for the fundamental reform to our welfare system that is needed.”

Coronavirus Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf

‘Stay at Home’ message remains in Wales – First Minister confirms

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS says the message here in Wales remains the same, ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.’

It comes as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official Twitter page suggests the UK Government’s advice to people living in England is set to change to ‘Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives.’

In a Tweet this morning, Mark Drakeford MS said,

“My message to the people of Wales hasn’t changed.

“Staying at home is the best way you can protect yourself and others.

“If you do need to leave the house for essential purposes, including exercise, it is vital that you keep 2 metres apart from others.”

Tonight, (May 10) following the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement at 7pm on BBC One Wales, a special BBC Wales Today immediately follows looking at what’s relevant to Wales and what’s not, the director of BBC Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies, confirmed via Twitter on Thursday (May 7).

First Minister Covid-19
Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS
Rhondda Cynon Taf

3 cars damaged at hospital car park

Three cars were damaged last night (1st May) at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon (Cynon Valley Hospital) in Mountain Ash.

The hospital, on Facebook, has asked if anyone has information please let them or South Wales Police know.

A spokesperson for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board added, “This is a very difficult time for our staff and this incident is very upsetting.”

“A senseless crime” is how Tracy Davies, a member of staff at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, has described the incident. She said nothing was taken from inside the cars but the hospital does have CCTV in the car park.


South Wales Police were quick to respond on social media,

“Three cars parked at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon (Cynon Valley Hospital) were damaged sometime between 7pm on Friday (1 May) and 7.30am on Saturday (2 May). Patrols have been stepped up at the hospital and an investigation is underway to identify who was responsible.

“Local Policing Inspector Simon Merrick, said: “When our health workers go to work, risking themselves to help and save others, somebody out there thinks it’s okay to target their cars. It is despicable and we’re determined to find who’s responsible – I’m sure with the community’s help we can.

“Anybody who has information is urged to contact 101 quoting reference *149910.

“Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously o 0800 555 111.”


Cynon Valley Assembly Member, Vikki Howells AM has told Cynon Valley News,

“It beggars belief that anyone would think of vandalising cars in a hospital car park in normal times, but during the Covid crisis, when hospital staff are working tirelessly to save lives and provide the best possible care, putting themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of the community, this behaviour is utterly despicable.

“I have contacted Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to seek an urgent upgrade of security at the site, and would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who have been affected by these mindless actions.”

Navigation security services are providing free mobile patrols throughout the night at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, to help stop vandalism on staff vehicles, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed to Cynon Valley News.



Welsh Affairs Committee launches new inquiry into the Welsh economy and Covid-19

The Welsh Affairs Committee, of which Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter is a member, is issuing a call for evidence about the economic consequences for Wales of the coronavirus pandemic, and the support needed to rebuild the Welsh economy in the aftermath.

Bethan Winter MP
Cynon Valley MP, Beth Winter.

The Committee is inviting evidence on a number of topics including; the most appropriate exit strategy for Wales, the support businesses and individuals will need to survive the crisis and to rebuild afterwards, and the lessons that can be learnt from this pandemic in case of future crises.

The inquiry will also explore how effectively the Welsh and UK Governments have worked together to support the Welsh economy and the lessons that can be learnt for the future. The full list of points addressed by the inquiry can be found on the Committee’s website:

Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter says the Coronavirus pandemic is already reshaping the Welsh economy, and the way we live.

“Across Wales many businesses are temporarily closed, thousands of workers have been furloughed, and many have also lost their jobs. It is crucial that we understand how effective measures taken so far have been, so that we can determine what further support the Welsh people, and the Welsh economy will need to survive, and recover from this pandemic.

“I encourage all organisations in Cynon Valley, including businesses, charities, religious groups and others, as well as individuals to submit their experiences and their ideas for the future to the Welsh Affairs Committee inquiry to help us develop that understanding.”

“We want to hear from you how you feel the crisis has been managed, what support key sections of the community, like older people and the newly unemployed will need, and what needs to be done to build a resilient economy in Wales once restrictions are lifted.”

“This information will be used by the Welsh Affairs Committee to focus on the measures that will be required to support the Welsh economy.”

“If you would like more information, or to discuss this with me before submitting evidence, please email to You will need to submit your evidence in writing to the Committee’s website by 15th May 2020.”

Rhondda Cynon Taf


Cynon Valley politicians and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have responded to recent suspected deliberate grass & refuse fires across the valley.

Some of those fires have required the attendance of multiple appliances from South Wales Fire & Rescue Service along with the use of critical equipment and movement of resources.

Cynon Valley Assembly Member, Vikki Howells AM said on Twitter, “Our fire service are poised and ready to help with the community response to the global Covid pandemic yet instead they are having to tackle deliberate grass fires. Setting these is disgusting behaviour and those responsible should be ashamed.”

Whilst Beth Winter MP said, “Our emergency services are under extreme strain at this moment, helping to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. And now South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are having to deal with this. This is not acceptable.”

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said, “Deliberate fires like this put fire fighters lives in danger, pose risk to the community and can cause significant damage to property and the environment.

“It is important for to reinforce that, due to the coronavirus, the current situation affecting everyone is unprecedented.

“We would urge anyone who has information on suspected deliberate fires, or who sees anything suspicious to contact 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“If you see a fire, or anyone starting a fire, please call 999 immediately.

“Please follow Government and Health Services advice about social distancing – please if you can stay home.” – RCT Council.

Image may contain: one or more people, fire and outdoor, possible text that says 'Grass Fires CVN TANFIRE'

Rhondda Cynon Taf


It’s Cynon Valley News’ second birthday this week.

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Thank you all so very much for the support, the viewing & most importantly your trust over the last two years. It’s been a privilege to bring you the news.

#CVN #WithBradWilliams

Rhondda Cynon Taf Storm Ciara


UPDATED: 19:30 08/2/20

Yellow Met Office weather warning for wind covers the Cynon Valley from 00:00-23:59 9/2/20.

Yellow Met Office weather warning for rain covers the Cynon Valley from 00:00-18:00 9/2/20.

Amber Met Office weather warning for wind covers the Cynon Valley from 08:00-21:00 9/2/20.

  • No trains will serve the Cynon Valley on Sunday 9th Feburary.
  • All RCT Council sports pitches/3Gs will be closed.
  • Public advised to stay away from all parks and wooded areas.
  • Council will deal with all Out of Hours emergencies that are reported (fallen trees etc). Non-emergencies will be dealt with on Monday (February 10).

You can follow the very latest on this page and on CVN’s Facebook & Twitter pages.

Storm Ciara