Ni fydd Mynediad Dinasyddion, lle gall cwsmeriaid weld eu cyfrifon Treth Gyngor/Trethi Busnes drwy’r wefan, ar gael ddydd Mercher 29 Hydref ar gyfer gwaith cynnal a chadw hanfodol. Citizen Access, where customers access their Council Tax/Business Rates accounts via the website, will be down Wednesday 29th October for essential maintenance.

Monmouthshire County Council marked European Local Democracy Week with an informal public discussion in the council chamber of County Hall, Usk.  It featured councillors outlining how they became involved in politics, their passion for the democratic process and their desire to make a difference.  A question and answer session followed.

The evening’s event which took place on Monday 17th October raised a number of interesting questions fielded by five councillors representing a cross-section of the council’s political groups – Council Leader Peter Fox, Frances Taylor (Independent), Phil Hobson (Liberal), Dimitri Batrouni (Labour) and Sara Jones (Conservative).

Subjects included the effect of party politics on local democracy, whether councillors attend sufficient local events, the level of scrutiny, the ability of councillors to influence significant decisions and does the council’s structure mitigate against change.  All councillors gave comprehensive answers.

The informal gathering followed a meeting of the council’s Democratic Services Committee which looked at community governance, remuneration, diversity in democracy and the forthcoming county council elections in May.  Present was Frank Cuthbert, the Welsh Government’s Head of Democracy, Diversity and Remuneration who spoke about the recently announced plans for Welsh local government.

Councillor Taylor who chairs the council’s Democratic Services Committee said: “I was pleased to join fellow councillors in celebrating local democracy and receiving thoughtful questions from members of the audience.  This is just one of a number of events we intend holding in the approach to next year’s local elections.  We will do our utmost to encourage democratic engagement whether it involves registering to vote, using your vote, standing for election, ensuring the transparency of the decision-making process or just taking an interest in the process and questioning how the system operates.”

  • European Local Democracy Week is an annual event coordinated by the Council of Europe to promote its universal values of democracy, and human rights, while encouraging citizen participation at a local level.

Two national charities have benefited from funds collected in aid of Monmouthshire’s past Chairman’s appeal.

Councillor Brian Strong selected the Wales Air Ambulance and the Noah’s Ark Charity as his chosen charities during his term of office (May 2015 to May 2016) and he was delighted to pass on cheques worth over £6,000 to each organisation.  He travelled to the new Wales Air Ambulance in Llanelli to present the organisation’s cheque while Linda Davies of the Noah’s Ark Charity met Councillor Strong in County Hall, Usk.

Catrin Hall, Wales Air Ambulance Community Coordinator, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the Chairman’s appeal.  As a charity, we rely on kind donations and support to keep our helicopters flying over Wales. The amazing fundraising completed through the Chairman’s appeal will help fund our lifesaving missions, and allow us to come to the aid of people across Wales in their time of need.”

Noah’s Ark Charity senior fundraiser, Linda Davies said: “Our charity’s mission is to support the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in whichever way we can to ensure that the children of Wales receive specialist care in the best possible surroundings.  We couldn’t do what we do without the incredible support we receive and we’re hugely thankful to Councillor Brian Strong for choosing us as one of his beneficiaries.  We can give every assurance that the £6,000 raised will be very well spent.”

Councillor Strong commented: “I am very pleased to support the excellent work by the Wales Air Ambulance and the Noah’s Ark Charity and I wish to thank all involved who helped to raise funds, including my wife Mary, daughter Sally, son Tim and his wife Claire, the council’s support staff and the local businesses who contributed prizes and helped with activities during my term of office.”

Monmouthshire County Council’s popular Knit & Natter session at Chepstow’s Community Hub celebrated its third birthday with a special afternoon tea last Friday (14th October).  The session provides a time and a space for people whose lives, whether personally, family or friends, have been touched by cancer.  Those attending enjoy the opportunity to chat, engage in shared reading, have a cuppa and of course, knit.

 Organised by information assistant Caroline Jones, Knit & Natter has grown from strength to strength since its beginnings in October 2013 as part of the council’s partnership with MacMillan Cancer Support.  To mark the third birthday Caroline organised an afternoon tea featuring cucumber sandwiches and fancy cakes.

 Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for the county’s community hubs said: “Our Knit & Natter provision is a great example of how the council’s five hubs bring people together to access help, help themselves and offer them an opening to become involved in the community.”

 Knit & Natter takes place at the Chepstow Community Hub in Manor Way, NP16 5HZ every Friday from 2.30 to 4pm.  The sessions are free, open to all, there is no need to book and as well as the knitting fraternity, people partaking in crafts like weaving, crochet or sewing are welcome.  A cuppa and story are provided but people must bring their own materials.  For further details, contact Chepstow Community Hub on 01291 635730 or call into any one of the council’s community hubs.


Monmouthshire County Council, Torfaen Council, and Gwent Police have formally welcomed Blaenau Gwent to the Shared Resource Service (SRS) as an official partner.  Based in Blaenavon, the SRS is the ICT provider created by the merger of ICT teams from Gwent Police, Monmouthshire County Council and Torfaen council in 2011.

 Signing the formal Deed of Adherence at an SRS board meeting on18th October were Monmouthshire’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Phil Murphy, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, Torfaen Council’s Deputy Leader Anthony Hunt and Blaenau Gwent’s Executive Member for Financial Management & Strategy, Councillor Hedley McCarthy.

 The formal partnership sees Blaenau Gwent’s ICT staff, structures and systems merge into the SRS in order to increase staff capacity, widen access to ICT expertise and enhance services.  The merger also brings investment of £12m over five years to invest in ICT service improvements while delivering annual efficiency savings.

 The IT merger follows an external review of Blaenau Gwent’s ICT services in 2014 which highlighted a number of issues with the existing ICT strategy, resilience and structure.  Blaenau Gwent councillors voted to join the SRS at a full council meeting held earlier this year.

 Cllr Hedley McCarthy, Blaenau Gwent’s Executive Member for Financial Management & Strategy, said: “Earlier this year we explored all the benefits and risks to determine a preferred solution and it resulted in a recommendation to join the SRS as a partner.  It was clear efficiencies of scale, service improvements and digital transformation could be best achieved by pooling resources and expertise.  For Blaenau Gwent, this will sustain IT service levels into the future and contributes to our overall budget challenge.  We have started to migrate systems onto collaborative platforms and there’s been a smooth transition for staff.”

 Deputy Leader of Torfaen council, Cllr Anthony Hunt said: “This is a significant milestone for the SRS and another example of the growing collaborative service model in Gwent.  The financial challenges currently facing councils continue to be an opportunity the SRS and I’m certain more partners will follow.”

 The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, added: “It is only through strong collaborative working with other key public services we can seek to provide the best possible quality of life for our citizens.  Sharing our resources and expertise effectively in this way enables us to take advantage of the latest technology and ensures we continue to be accessible to our communities.”

 Monmouthshire’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Phil Murphy said: “We welcome Blaenau Gwent’s partnership in the SRS and look to expand services to other public service partners.  Collaboration has never been so important as we seek to find efficiencies and better ways of delivering services.  This is an excellent example of transformational public services and contributes to our vision to make our communities the most connected in the UK.”


MCC School Meals Winter Menu 2016 - A4

Monmouthshire County Council continues to improve services in its priority areas according to the council’s recently published review of its improvement plan, How We Performed 2015/16.

The council has continued to focus on its core purpose of ‘building sustainable and resilient communities’ and its four priorities of; education; protecting the most vulnerable in society; supporting enterprise and maintaining locally accessible services.  Over the past few years the council has reduced the amount it spends while striving to protect front-line services.  Recent data released by Welsh Government shows in 2015/16 well over 50% of the council’s performance measures are in the top half when compared to other councils in Wales.

The improvement plan reviews the progress the council has made on its priorities and objectives it set for 2015/16.

The council set five improvement objectives and made good progress on four.  These were to:

  • Improve at all key stages of education
  • Safeguard people, whether young or old, while reducing people’s dependence on social care
  • Enable the county to thrive
  • Maintain locally accessible services

The council made adequate progress on its fifth objective:

  • Being an efficient, effective and sustainable organisation.

Effort has already been refocussed on this objective.

Commenting after councillors agreed the plan, Council Leader Peter Fox said:

“I am pleased to see that we continue to improve our services in our priority areas. The plan clearly describes the progress we have made and I hope Monmouthshire’s residents find it useful to understand how we are performing.

“While many areas are performing well, there are still service areas that require improvement, and our performance information is already starting to show some of these improvements are being made.

“During the last four years of this administration we have seen nearly three quarters of service performance indicators improve at the same time as managing unprecedented financial challenges.  These challenges along with increasing demand and the rural nature of the county mean continuing to maintain and improve performance in all service areas is becoming increasingly challenging, but it is a challenge we are up to.”

The council is currently looking at its longer term plans and as part of this is asking residents about the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Monmouthshire.  For more information and to get involved visit:

Residents can download a copy of the plan on the council’s website at:  They can also join the discussion on Twitter @monmouthshireCC

Forecasted high tides are due again this weekend.  We will be monitoring the situation and if necessary, will arrange for the A466 through Tintern to be closed for short periods on the following dates and times:-


16th October               Between 20:45 – 21:15 (approx)

17th October               Between 09:00 – 09:30 (approx)                                                                                                        Between 21:30 – 22:00 (approx)

18th October               Between 09:45 – 10:15 (approx)

Between 22:15 – 22:45 (approx)

19th October               Between 10:30 – 11:00 (approx)



The closure points will be as follows:


North End closure: Trelleck Road junction.

South End closure: Royal George junction.


Closure times are estimated based on the forecasted tide times.  Natural Resources Wales will be monitoring the situation and issuing Flood Warnings as necessary.  Road closures will only be temporary and only when tidal water actually overflows onto the highway.  The road will reopen as soon as the water has receded from the highway.





My Monmouthshire is a new way of communicating with customers by providing smartphone and web applications to enable self-service access. The app is an easy way to quickly contact the council and enables people to report an incident using a photo or a video from their phone. For example, residents may report a pot hole, dog fouling or a broken street light by capturing details and automatically submitting them. The My Monmouthshire app will also provide latest news updates from the council and features local service information such as waste collection days, job vacancies, bus timetables or school data.

All residents with smart phones are encouraged to download the app when it goes live on 11th October. To do so, visit your app store and simply download the My Monmouthshire app.

Cllr Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for innovation said: “This fantastic initiative is part of a programme to improve customer service. The My Monmouthshire app will enable more and more people to engage with the council in real time. It will make it much easier for residents to access information and report any problems to us, so we can respond faster. I would urge everyone to download the My Monmouthshire app and tell their friends and family about it.”

Visitors to Abergavenny Museum this autumn will be able to explore one of the world’s great civilizations thanks to a new partnership with the British Museum.

The British Museum’s Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan has curated a special exhibition called ‘Writing for Eternity: Decoding Ancient Egypt’.  The exhibition uses the iconic scripts of Ancient Egypt – the well-known hieroglyphs and the lesser known Hieratic, Demotic and Coptic – to reveal conditions in the Nile Valley and Delta two to four thousand years ago through a selection of amazing objects from the collections of the British Museum.

Ilona Regulski, the British Museum’s Curator of Egyptian Written Culture said: “Ancient Egypt has produced an astonishing variety of inscribed objects giving us valuable insights into one of the greatest ancient civilisations. The exhibition will illustrate 4,000 years of writing history through a selection of well-known but also surprising objects, such as the scribe’s pen and inscribed pieces of jewellery. The diverse selection of artefacts reveals how the Egyptians solved daily problems but also what they thought would happen after death.”

Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Innovation, Enterprise and Leisure added: “I am delighted to see this exhibition in Abergavenny Museum and we are grateful to the British Museum for helping it happen.  Abergavenny Museum’s ability to display our great national treasures in the town thanks to the Welsh Government’s Sharing Treasures Programme is an important part of the museum’s offer to our communities and visitors.  Writing for Eternity is another excellent example of this work and I am sure people will be excited by the opportunity to see it.”

The exhibition runs until January 7th.  Alongside the activities available in the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition will be a lecture by Ilona Regulski at The Priory Centre on Friday 4th November from 2 to 3pm.  Tickets priced at £3 are available in advance from Abergavenny Museum.  A literacy workshop for schools is also available – please contact or 01600 710630 for details.

For more information about the exhibition, call into the museum, telephone 01873 854282, visit the Facebook Page ‘Abergavenny Museum’, or Twitter account @abermuseum

  • The British Museum’s national programmes are generously supported by the Dorset Foundation

 Monmouthshire County Council’s contractors are taking steps to reduce the number of street lights presently illuminated during the day.  Recently-installed LED lights are particularly affected but the problem centres mainly on the remote control wireless technology used to regulate the switching on and off and dimming of street lighting.  The LED lights are being introduced gradually across the county to reduce energy consumption.

The company providing the remote control technology has uncovered a batch of faulty control systems in addition to a number of communication issues which contribute towards the problem.  Monmouthshire’s Head of Operations, Roger Hoggins commented that now the problem has been diagnosed the company is already replacing the faulty equipment as well as assessing how the wireless technology can be reconfigured to improve the remote control communication system.  He said: “Improvements following this work should become apparent soon.”

LED lamps use considerably less energy than older style lanterns and the council is not incurring extra energy costs due to lights being illuminated during the day because of how street lighting energy is presently charged.  However, this does not mean that the council can ignore day-burning lamps and officers are anxious to resolve problems.

Roger Hoggins added: “It is worth noting that the introduction of LEDs makes sense, especially as the cost of the technology continues to drop as the market grows.  We have taken interest-free loans to pay for the new lamps using the reduction in energy costs to fund the borrowing.”

Further information is available on the council’s website – visit