Minutes of the Projects Committee held on Thursday 2 April 2015 after the Finance Committee in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Abergavenny.

Present: Cllr M J Hickman, JP, (Mayor)

Cllrs C Woodhouse, Mrs S Woodhouse, Ms S Dodd, N Tatam, P Woodley, J L Prosser, Mrs M Harris, R Harris and Mrs M Powell.

In attendance: The Town Clerk

  1.  1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs P Jordan, P Wadsworth, Miss M Toombs, D Edwards and S Horrell.
  1.  2. Declarations of interest would be made as and when necessary.
  1.  3. Welsh Government White Paper on Devolution, Democracy and Delivery.

Members had received support information from Monmouthshire CC, One Voice Wales, and notes from a seminar attended by the Clerk.

Several points of interest to Town and Community Councillors were identified.

The first was whether or not there should be a 25 year limit on how long members can sit. After discussion it was agreed that this council are not in favour of a limit.

The second point was whether or not members should be able to sit on county and community councils. After discussion it was agreed that there was no reasonable cause to prevent it if members wished to put themselves forward for election.

The third issue was whether a member could sit on more than one Community Council, and again, it was not considered a problem for this to happen if the electorate were happy with it.

There was a comment that many small communities were not viable or of value as they were often too small to raise a reasonable precept so that their contribution was very limited.

There was a view that Area Boards could be undemocratic and there was a preference for combining Town and Community Councils to give equal precept demand across a wider area. This would give more substance to cooperative ventures as the wider community would contribute, and not just the town.

Youth Councils were considered to be a good idea, but enquiries had shown that not many were working effectively. This would require further research.

Members were in favour of good quality Induction training for new members and refresher training for existing members. It was recognised that other training opportunities exist through One Voice Wales, and these were taken up from time to time.

As regards the new Counties or “Regional Councils”, it was considered important that areas should not be asset-stripped by outgoing authorities and there should be opportunities for Town and Community Councils or local third sector agencies to acquire use of public buildings which become surplus to requirement.

There was a discussion about Peer Review, and the majority view seemed to be that this was an unnecessary additional administrative burden,

The Clerk would prepare a note (these minutes) for approval and onward transmission to Welsh Government and One Voice Wales.

  1.  4. (Cllr Prosser left at this point)

Reference was made to e-mail correspondence from Chepstow Council who are proposing to send a small delegation to Flanders to lay a wreath at the 3rd Mons Memorial. Members noted that we would be laying a wreath at the memorial in Abergavenny, but it was agreed to seek a view from Council next Wednesday as to whether we should join them. In any case we could send a wreath to be laid by those who attend.

The meeting ended at 8:00pm