Comments from Abergavenny Town Council
Section 2 Vision for Monmouthshire – suggested different wording as currently it doesn’t make sense.
To maintain and improve local rights of way and countryside sites in order to promote and encourage greater use and contribute to the physical and mental well-being of all of Monmouthshire’s residents and visitors
To maintain and improve local rights of way and countryside sites in order to promote and encourage their use and enjoyment for
their the physical and mental well-being of all of Monmouthshire’s residents and visitors
Pages 5, 22 & 42 (and probably other pages) reference to Wellbeing and Future Generations Act – this should be Wellbeing of Future Generations Act
Page 41 – There is reference to publishing a set of 4×4 trails. This is not supported by Abergavenny Town Council as it would be contrary to a number of other policies around climate change and active travel as well as being a potentially damaging activity in the countryside.
There is inconsistency to how the abbreviation ROWIP is presented throughout the document alternating between ROWIP and RoWIP.
Page 22 – There is reference to Section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2015 and the duty of public authorities. Community & Town Councils come within the definition of public authorities so have a duty to maintain and enhance biodiversity so this is probably worth acknowledging somewhere in the document. Community & Town Councils, under this duty, will be required to prepare a plan setting out how they will meet this duty.
Throughout the document there are very few references to community & town councils (C&TCs), yet they feature heavily in the action table. We would like to see a specific section on the role that community & town councils can play in delivering ROWIP and how the relationship will C&TCs will be strengthened. The four larger Town Councils – Abergavenny, Chepstow, Caldicot and Monmouth – have a duty under the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act to contribute to the Monmouthshire PSB wellbeing objectives and to prepare an annual report setting out what has been achieved. All Community & Town Councils can raise a precept and there may be merit in requesting a contribution from all (or some) to enable maintenance and improvement works to be carried out. The current 2019 budget of £38,000 is considered woefully inadequate and there needs to be a clear way forward on the action to be taken to increase this.
One Voice Wales, the umbrella organisation for community & town councils arranges a quarterly meeting for community & town councils in Newport and Monmouthshire. It may be worth considering a presentation to this meeting to have further discussions with the sector on their role. The contact is Shan Bowden, email@example.com, Tel 01269 595400.
Community & Town Councils already deliver or are involved in many activities which directly impact on the use and enjoyment of the rights of way network such as litter picking, dog waste bin emptying, financial support to local volunteer groups, promotion of tourism, arranging walks. It is suggested that this should be acknowledged.
The action table is comprehensive, however some indication of the priority attached to the actions and associated cost would be useful. As it stands, without categorisation into short, medium and long-term actions the proposals are more aspirational than deliverable.