An award celebrating unsung heroes in Cardiff has been scrapped after just two years as a result of council spending cuts.
Thalidomide campaigner Rosaleen Moriarty-Simmons, the inaugural winner of the Seren Owain Glyndwr Award, last night said the decision was a “travesty”.
The award was launched in 2011 by the council’s previous Liberal Democrat/Plaid Cymru administration to recognise Cardiff citizens who had made a difference in their community.
It continued last year under the new Labour administration, with Llandaff North couple Alan and Ann Davies collecting the award for their voluntary work at a city community centre..
The award ceremonies were held at City Hall, but despite owning the building, the council now says as a result of its tight budget it can no longer fund the event.
Mrs Moriarty-Simmons, who was recognised for her campaign for equal rights for people with disabilities, said: “I’m really disappointed because the award itself was so unique. It recognised the deeds of people not normally recognised.
“It’s a travesty. I don’t know how much it cost, but I cannot see how the cost of a couple of hours in City Hall would outweigh the good that comes out of that award.”
Plaid Cymru councillor Neil McEvoy called on the Labour administration to reinstate the award.
“In such difficult economic times, with trust in politicians at an all-time low, it is more important than ever that the extraordinary work carried out for free by people in our communities continues to be recognised,” he said.
“The Seren Owain Glyndwr Award was seen by almost everyone within Cardiff and beyond as being a unique Welsh capital city award, with the added prestige of it being named after and awarded on the celebration day of probably the greatest figure in Welsh history.”
Owain Glyndwr Society chairman Eirwyn Evans, who was one of five members of the judging panel, which also included the South Wales Echo, said it was an honour to be involved in the award.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council has been forced to cut spending across all service areas as a result of the austerity measures being imposed by the Coalition Government in London. Unfortunately this was one of the casualties of the spending cuts.”