THE press office of Carmarthenshire council has lost 108 years of media experience with the December joint retirement of three press officers.

Press officer manager Debbie Williams served 15 years with the authority, and press officers Roger Butler 13 and Ron Cant 12 respectively. They were the nucleus of a team that won the Cymru Wales Pride Awards (for being the outstanding In-House Public Relations Team as Sirgar PR) three years running 2008-09-10.

Debbie admits there was an element of disappointment the team were not allowed to continue entering the competition to continue proving they were the best in Wales while not so quietly getting on with the job of broadcasting the council’s many attributes and buffering it from maligned attacks. “I wish the county’s new Marketing and Media team well. There are many exciting projects to deliver and services to exalt,” she said.

Ron ventured: “In many ways the job was easy, if exceptionally busy, because of a visionary chief executive some outstanding officers and an executive board of councillors who have been able to deliver in extremely difficult financial times.” All three are past journalists variously with the South Wales Evening Post, Llanelli Star, Llanelli News, News of the World, North Wales Chronicle, Denbighshire Free Press. Evening Leader and Widnes World and have mapped out their retirement futures thus: Debbie vows to become an even busier grandmother than before, take even more exotic holidays-and write a novel.

Roger plans a commute from his home in Swansea to his family seat in Bethesda North Wales; develop his passion for hill walking and hone his windsurfing skills. “As the great Bilbo Baggins said: ‘I’m going on an adventure,’” he added. Ron plans to get to the gym more often, visit even more exotic sub aqua diving sites worldwide, is taking on a part-time professional fostering role, undertaking a little PR and some freelance writing. “The ‘phone hasn’t stopped ringing – good contacts never die – so watch this space.”

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