“What’s good about your community?” That’s the question many Monmouthshire residents have been talking about over the past few months.  Public services in the county have been spending time in schools, community centres and shopping centres to try and understand what people value about their local areas and what needs to be improved.

In 2018, organisations including the local authority, NHS, police, fire and rescue and Natural Resources Wales will have to set shared priorities and tell residents about the things they will do together.  Their plans have to be based on a clear understanding of local areas, based on statistics, the views of local people, research and an understanding of future trends in things like transport, technology, climate and healthcare that will affect how people’s needs could be met differently in the future.

So far more than a thousand people in the county have shared their thoughts at events or posted them online.  Things people have been talking about include:

  • Ensuring there’s enough affordable housing to enable people to live and work locally
  • The challenges of transport in a rural area.  People who don’t have access to a car can struggle to get around.
  • People value the landscape and being able to get out and enjoy the countryside – we need to look after these assets.
  • The need to maintain some of the things that make Monmouthshire such a good place to live for future generations, things like theatres, museums and independent retailers, pubs, restaurants and eateries.
  • There are some great shows and events but there should be more things for children and young people to do.
  • The subjects of waste collection and the cleanliness of streets divided opinions, although there was a more positive attitude towards recycling with Monmouthshire having one of the most impressive rates in Wales.

Residents can see more detail about what people have been saying on www.monmouthshire.madeopen.co.uk  If these aren’t the things that matter to you there’s still time to have your say by visiting http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/our-monmouthshire or posting your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #OurMonmouthshire.  You can also leave comments at the council’s community hubs in Chepstow, Caldicot, Monmouth, Usk and in the Abergavenny one-stop-shop.