AN uncontested seat in the Drybridge ward will see Welsh Conservative Mandi Rugen-Hankey join Monmouth Town Council. 

The married grandmother – who has a family of four generations living in the area - was elected unopposed after Labour failed to field a candidate. 

A by-election was called following the resignation of independent Steve Wadley. 

Describing Cllr Rugen-Hankey as a “breath of fresh air”, local MP David Davies said he warmly welcomed her appointment. 

“I am absolutely delighted that Mandi has been elected, albeit somewhat surprised that Labour didn’t put up a candidate,” said Mr Davies. 

“I know how hard Mandi is going to work because she has already been taking me out to see the ward. 

“We spent time over the weekend looking at various issues of neglect, including speed bumps in a state of dangerous disrepair on Watery Lane. One of her first tasks will be calling on the Labour-run Monmouthshire County Council to try and get these fixed.” 

Cllr Rugen-Hankey has worked on Church Street in Monmouth for over 35 years and said she was looking forward to getting “stuck in” to her new role. 

Fighting to ensure greenfields around Rockfield Road and Watery Lane are protected from development to prevent flooding, and campaigning against Labour’s proposals for 630 new homes in Monmouth without investment in infrastructure are among her top priorities, she added. 

“I am keen to return Monmouth to its earlier glory days through looking at measures to increase footfall in the main shopping areas, reducing the numbers of empty retail premises and bringing back the hugely popular music festival and market days to showcase all the fantastic local produce we have on our doorstep,” said Cllr Rugen-Hankey. 

“I will also look into measures to make car parking free on weekends to encourage shoppers and tourists to visit the town, in addition to making it free in the run up to Christmas. 

“I am also passionate about increasing care in the community for the most vulnerable members by encouraging local people to engage in charity works and wider local support networks.