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Residents may end up ‘paying more’ and ‘losing services’ if moved to new community council

a christmas tree outside a council office
Cwmbran Community Council's office in Old Cwmbran (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

Residents whose homes could move into a different community council area should understand that it may mean they end up “paying more” for “less services”.

That was one of the points made in a discussion at Cwmbran Community Council earlier this week.

Torfaen County Borough Council has to review community council boundaries every ten years. Officers have looked at all six community councils in Torfaen, Blaenavon, Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon, Cwmbran, Henllys, Ponthir, and Pontypool. Now a set of proposals to make changes have been shared and a consultation is underway.

Community councils tell the county borough council what budget they need to run their services. This is known as a precept and the county borough council collects this money from residents in their monthly council tax charge and it’s paid to the community council

At this week’s policy and finance committee, Cwmbran Community councillors looked at the proposals and gave their views.

Councillors on Henllys Community Council raised worries in early January that a merger with Cwmbran could affect their services, including the village fete and a £5,000 grant they get from a solar farm.

Cllr Bill Walker, Llantarnam Ward, said: “What we’ve got to be careful of, is we shouldn’t vote to say ‘you can come with us’. What we want to be saying is, ‘if you wish to join us, you can’. We’re not going to make a decision to demand it…I would like to say ‘if you would like to join us, we would welcome you.’

“Give them a referendum, each council.”

Cllr Anthony Bird, Northville Ward, said that all community councils do things differently and this could lead to residents paying more if their home is moved to a new area. He said he thought the precept was higher in Henllys and “probably higher in Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon”.

He added: We have the task force (a low-cost gardening service), they don’t. If an area in my ward goes to Croesyceiliog, they’re going to be paying a higher precept and getting less. Henllys runs a cinema, would we become responsible for that?”

Councillor Peter Jones, Two Locks Ward, said: “My view is Two Locks should stay where it is. There are lots of advantages of being part of this bigger council. The task group helps older people in the ward…

“We should stay as we are…I see no reason to change.”

Cllr Bird said he could lose 80 houses to Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council which would mean residents “paying more” and “losing services.”

Cllr Stuart Ashley, Mount Pleasant Ward, said: “It’s not a choice for members. We may have a view on names and boundaries, but in essence, it should be a referendum among voters.”

Councillor Rhiannon Bennett, Coed Eva Ward, said there should be “promotion and awareness of what different community councils do, the differences and implications of having a bigger town council.”

Cllr Bird said it felt that “decisions had been made behind closed doors already.”

Councillors will agree their response to the consultation at next week’s full council meeting.

The proposed changes for Cwmbran Community Council

  • We are recommending an increase of one member for Cwmbran Community Council. This increase is due to the recommendation to form a new ward for the South Sebastopol development.  It is recommended this ward is named Pontryhydrun.

  • Adjust the boundary on the crossroads on Station Road to the front of the buildings, this will create a more natural boundary, and will move 2 houses and the Ebenezer Church from Lowlands & Avondale into Northville.

  • Adjust the boundary creating a new natural line at Pontnewydd Workman’s Club. This will move the club /one residential building from St Dials into Lowlands & Avondale.

  • A recommendation to merge Mount Pleasant and Lowlands & Avondale and rename the combined ward area Pontnewydd.

  • To adjust the boundary around Alma house as its currently cutting though the property.

  • Adjust the boundary to the rear garden at Greenfield Close.

  • Adjust the current boundary at 9 Plas Trosnant Cwmbran to move the boundary to the right-hand side of the property, as the current boundary is cutting through the property.

  • Adjust the boundary to the right-hand side of Brookwood as the boundary is cutting through the property.

  • Adjust the boundary for the property at Hillside Cottage on Graig Road.

  • Move the current boundary at Bristol View Close to the south of the close, this is to form a more natural boundary line, and will move 8 properties from Greenmeadow into Thornhill.

  • Adjust the boundary at Brynbach to the right of the property as the current boundary is cutting through the property.

  • Adjust the boundary line that runs between Nant Celyn School and the rear gardens to the houses on Ton Road.

  • To move the current boundary on Ty Coch Lane North, 4 properties will move from Two Locks into the Llantarnam ward.

  • Adjust the boundary between Holly Lodge Nursing home and the neighbouring house.

  • Adjust the boundary at Pentrefield Cottage, this will result in moving the property from Two Locks into the Henllys ward.

  • To adjust the boundary and make it more of a natural line at the top of Llantarnam Road which divides Llantarnam and Southville.  .

  • Adjust the natural boundary line as the current line is cutting through the rear of the properties at the Pastures.

  • Adjust the current boundary line as the current line is cutting through the rear of the properties at Worcester Close.

  • Adjust the natural boundary lines around the properties as its currently cutting through properties at Bryn Rhydyn and Highfield Close.

  • Adjust the boundary to the rear gardens at Plantation Drive to follow the natural boundaries of the properties.

Share your views

Torfaen Council has published its recommendations following the first stage of the review. The deadline to share your views in the survey is 28 February 2024. The results will go to the task and finish group who will  draft final recommendations. The recommendation will then need to be approved by Full Council.

One reply on “Residents may end up ‘paying more’ and ‘losing services’ if moved to new community council”

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Residents may end up ‘paying more’ and ‘losing services’ if moved to new community council

One reply on “Residents may end up ‘paying more’ and ‘losing services’ if moved to new community council”