THERE is always a great deal to do in Monmouthshire, especially when the sun is shining.
The bank holiday saw thousands visit the Steam Fair in Abergavenny, the Crickhowell Open Arts events at various studios, the Devauden Festival, the Balter Festival in Chepstow, Monmouth Regatta, and The Big Banquet food festival at Caldicot Castle.
Our towns were full of people shopping, meeting friends and enjoying a drink or a meal in the sunshine. Or perhaps you went for a walk along one of more than a thousand miles of footpaths, enjoyed a park or garden visit, or a bike-ride across the newly-opened Wireworks bridge at Tintern.
And activities are still going on all week during half term, with MonLife running the Monmouthshire Games and free Active Play sessions at all four leisure centres. There are also youth service events and so many places to visit.
I want to thank the many volunteers who make these events happen, and organisations, like the Rotary Club, not forgetting stewards, organisers and committee members who work hard and raise money for good causes.
Add to that all the many businesses willing to take a risk in organising events that bring people together.
Whether your passion is music, sport or traction engines, your memorable day out happens because of other people’s planning and hard work all year long.
MonLife runs a small percentage of the events that happen in Monmouthshire but our local authority is often part of an invisible support team. Then there’s the Events Safety Advisory Group which brings together police, highways and all the other agencies to help organisers to run a safe and enjoyable event.
Environmental Health officers ensure that all that street food and ice creams are safe to eat. The sports community development teams support many volunteer groups across the county. Your county council works closely with the police to keep everyone safe, and alongside town councils and volunteers, we try our best to keep everywhere clean and looking at its best.
Over two million visitors come to Monmouthshire each year, and enjoy a warm welcome from our hospitality businesses which form an essential part of our economy.
Coupled with that, the council’s tourism team do a great job to promote Monmouthshire around the world. I am looking forward to a busy summer in our beautiful county. Let’s hope for more good weather.