MONMOUTHSHIRE council has agreed to submit a representation for the county’s electoral review, despite concerns over two-member wards.

In a council meeting on Thursday, Cllr Richard John outlined the proposals for councillors to consider.

Cllr John said: “I understand many of us will find the prospect of change difficult. I find I have great affection for my ward as it is now but I feel there’s a greater principle at stake here, which is that each one of us should represent roughly the same number of electors.”

Cllr John said they had tried to suggest as many single-member wards as possible, however Cllr Armand Watts said he didn’t think it was well thought through.

Cllr Val Smith said: “My personal feeling is that duel representation is undemocratic.”

Despite the concerns raised, the full council agreed to submit the proposals as their repersentation for the electoral review.

The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales has been conducting electoral reviews of all 22 Welsh local authority areas ahead of the ordinary council elections in 2022.

Monmouthshire County Council is the last local authority to see such a review.

The review will look at the total number of councillors elected to a local authority, the boundaries and number of electoral wards and, the name of electoral wards and the number of councillors to be elected for each ward.

The boundary commission started a consultation on July 7 for representations on how the future electoral arrangements in Monmouthshire should look. The consultation will run until September 28.

If Monmouthshire council decides not to submit the proposals, then it would be down to individual councillors and parties to put forward their own suggestions.

The commission put forward some criteria for the council and other stakeholders to take into account.

This includes a varience of no more than 25 per cent high or lower than the desired ration of ward members to councillors, an idea council size of 46 councillors and having a regard to the five year forecast of electorate changes in the area.

 

What are the proposals?

Monmouthshire council has put forward a proposal for 47 councillors, which would be an increase of four on the current make-up of the local authority.

The council’s proposals have focused on an attempt to put forward as many single-member wards as possible.

The proposals are based on the proposed changes to community wards, which are expected to be approved by the Welsh Government.

For more information on the proposed community changes visit https://ldbc.gov.wales/reviews/01-19/monmouthshire-final-recommendations

What would each ward look like?

Under Monmouthshire’s proposals, nine wards would stay the same. However, they would allow for the changes made under the community council proposals.

These nine wards are Caerwent, Croesonen, Crucorney, Devauden, Llanelly Hill, Llangybi Fawr, Mardy, Rogiet, and Shirenewton. The five wards in Caldicot would also remain largely the same, subject to community electoral changes.

  • Gobion Fawr

New council ward to replace the Llanover ward.

Llanover community has been removed from the Llanover community council as part of the ward proposals, so the new name of Gobion Fawr was decided.

  • Goetre Fawr

Largely stays the same, but gains Llanover ward from Gobion Fawr under the proposals, in line with the community ward changes.

  • Llantilio Crossenny

There were significant changes to the community arrangements within the existing ward for the community boundary proposals.

Most of the changes are within the existing Llantilio Crossenny county ward.

The only exception is Llanvetherine moving into the ward from Grosmont.

  • Raglan

Pen-y-Clawdd and Llangovan have been moved from Raglan to the Mitchel Troy Community in the community boundry review.

Gwehelog will be disbanded and the community of Gwehelog would move into Raglan.

  • St Arvans

The ward was affected significantly from the community boundary review.

Trellech Grange moved from the Tintern community into Trellech community as part of the community electoral review.

Chapel Hill and Penallt wards were merged with St Arvans and Tintern wards.

The Llandogo ward, previously of the Trellech community, was moved in to a new Wye Valley community alongside the Tintern ward.

  • Llanfoist and Govilon

In the community review, the Llanwenarth Citra ward was moved to Abergavenny.

The council has proposed combining the remaining Llanfoist and Llanellen wards with the Govilon ward to create a two-member ward.

  • Mitchel Troy and Trellech United

Proposal is to combine the two wards into a single-member ward.

  • Llanbadoc and Usk

The proposal is to combine Llandbadoc and Usk into a two-member ward.

  • Portskewett

Stays the same but would become a two-member ward.

  • Abergavenny

Currently made up of six single-member wards – Cantref,  Llanwenarth Citra, Pen Y Fal, Grofield, Landsown and Park.

Proposal to combine Cantref and Llanwenarth Citra into a single-member ward and keep the rest the same.

  • Monmouth

Proposal to split the single-member ward of Drybridge and Town into separate wards and have five single-member wards within Monmouth.

They would be Wyesham, Osbaston, Drybridge,Town and Overmonnow.

  • Chepstow

Proposal to lose a councillor in the Chepstow area and reduce the number of wards.

Currently there are seven single-member wards – Thornwell, Larkfield, Maple Avenue, Bulwark, St Kingsmark, Chepstow Castle and Mount Pleasant.

Proposal is to merge Thornwell, Bulwark and Maple Avenue which would be represented by two councillors, merge Larkfield and Chepstow Castle which would be represented by two ward members and keep St Kingsmark and Mount Pleasant as single-member wards.

  • Magor with Undy

Proposal to merge Magor East and West and make it a two-member ward and keep Undy as a single-member ward.

MORE NEWS:

How many councillors would be in each ward?

One-member wards:

  • Caerwent
  • Croesonen
  • Crucorney
  • Devauden
  • Gobion Fawr
  • Goetre Fawr
  • Llangybi Fawr
  • Llantilio Crossenny
  • Mardy
  • Raglan
  • Rogiet
  • Shirenewton
  • St Arvans
  • Mitchel Troy & Trellech United
  • Portskewett
  • Cantref
  • Llanwenarth Citra
  • Pen Y Fal
  • Grofield
  • Landsown
  • Park
  • Wyesham
  • Osbaston
  • Drybridge
  • Town
  • Overmonnow
  • Mount Pleasant
  • St Kingsmark
  • Undy
  • West End
  • Severn
  • The Village
  • Caldicot Castle
  • Dewstow
  • Caldicot Cross

Two-member wards:

  • Llanelly Hill
  • Llanfoist & Govilon
  • Llanbadoc & Usk
  • Chepstow Castle and Larkfield
  • Maple Avenue, Thornwell and Bulwark
  • Magor

The proposals are available to view on the Monmouthshire council website.