MONMOUTHSHIRE council will gain an extra councillor, if electoral boundary changes are approved, but the number of wards will fall by one.
Under the proposals from the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales there will be 46 councillors in the county compared to 45 at present.
The number of electoral wards will be reduced from 40 to 39.
Thirty two of them will be represented by a single councillor with the remaining seven represented by two councillors.
On average, each ward will have 1,599 elected members, with no wards having more than 25 per cent either way.
Currently the largest under-represented ward is Larkfield and St Kingsmark in Chepstow, which is 31 per cent above the recommended county average, while Govilon near Abergavenny is 30 per cent below the recommended average.
No changes at all are proposed for 31 electoral wards, but this does take into account the already approved community ward changes that will be coming into place next year.
This means, for example, that while Thornwell in Chepstow is currently its own ward on a county level, under the accepted proposals for the community wards, it will become Bulwalk and Thornwell.
So, under the commission’s recommendations, it has counted as an ‘unchanged’ ward due to the community ward changes.
The 31 wards which will either remain the same or adopt the accepted community ward boundaries or names are: Bulwark and Thornwell, Caerwent, Caldicot Castle, Caldicot Cross, Cantref, Croesonen, Crucorney, Devauden, Dewstow, Gobion Fawr, Goetre Fawr, Grofield, Lansdown, Llanelly, Llangybi Fawr, Llantilio Crossenny, Magor East, Magor West, Mardy, Osbaston, Overmonnow, Park, Pen Y Fal, Portskewett, Raglan, Rogiet, Severn, Shirenewton, St Arvans, West End, and Wyesham.
Under the commission’s proposals, Govilon would merge with the community of Llanfoist Fawwr to create a two-member ward by the name of Llanfoist Fawr and Govilon.
Llanbadoc ward could also merge with Usk to create another two-member ward – Llanbadoc and Usk.
Similarly, Mitchel Troy could be merged with Trellech United to become a two-member ward.
Drybridge and the town wards of Monmouth would be split up.
Drybridge would form its own single-member ward, while the town wards would form another single-member ward by the name of Town.
Larkfield and St Kingsmark is currently made up of the Larkfield, Mountpleasant and St Kingsmark wards in the town of Chepstow, but it could also be split up.
Larkfield would then be merged with Chepstow Castle to form a new two-member ward, while St Kingsmark and Mount Pleasant would each form single-member wards.
Under the proposals, the 32 single-member wards would be: Caerwent, Caldicot Castle, Caldicot Cross, Cantref, Croesonen, Crucorney, Devauden, Dewstow, Drybridge, Gobion Fawr, Goetre Fawr, Grofield, Lansdown, Llangybi Fawr, Llantilio Crossenny, Magor West, Mardy, Mount Pleasant, Osbaston, Overmonnow, Park, Pen Y Fal, Portskewett, Raglan, Rogiet, Severn, Shirenewton, St Arvans, St Kingsmark, Town, West End, and Wyesham.
The remaining seven two-member wards would be: Bulwark and Thornwell, Chepstow Castle and Larkfield, Llanbadoc and Usk, Llanelly, Llanfoist Fawr and Govilon, Magor East with Undy, Mitchel Troy and Trellech United.
All 22 Welsh councils have undergone a boundary review ahead of the 2022 local government elections, as a review must take place once every ten years to make sure that wards are represented democratically.
Changes to legislation, including allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Senedd elections will have an impact on the electoral make-up of local wards.
Planning developments will also have an impact.
Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales’ chief executive, Shereen Williams MBE, said: “We’re delighted to be publishing these proposals today.
“We want to thank everyone who took part in the review process, especially Monmouthshire County Council and its councillors, and those members of the public who took part in our consultation.”
The Welsh Government will now examine the proposals and may decide to put them into effect with an order.
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