The six Town and Community Councils in Taff Ely, together with Pontypridd Assembly Member Mick Antoniw have united to produce a joint report on the future of Town and Community Councils.


Representatives from Llantrisant, Tonyrefail, Pontypridd, Taffs Well, Llantwit Fardre and Pontypridd Councils met recently to discuss and agree the joint report, which has been submitted to Welsh Government as part of its consultation on the future of Community and Town Council sector in Wales.


Amongst the recommendations are a greater say for Community Councils in local planning decisions, establishing Community Councils as a facilitator of local heritage projects and enhancing public awareness of the role of Community Councils.


The meeting was organised by Mick Antoniw, Assembly Member for Pontypridd and addressed by the (then) Local Government Cabinet secretary Mark Drakeford.


Mick Antoniw said:


“In Taff Ely we have six very efficient and effective Community Councils, which I believe could provide a template for Community Councils across Wales. 


“Our meeting was very constructive and I was struck by the shared appetite of Councillors to be empowered to do more for the communities they live in.  I have no doubt that they have both the appetite and the skills and experience to take on more responsibilities.  In particular I believe there is a great opportunity for Community Councils to become champions and facilitators of local heritage problems.


“At our meeting Mark Drakeford made his commitment to Town and Community Councils clear and I know his view is shared by his successor Alun Davies AM; so I’m hopeful that the Welsh Government’s response will be to enhance the authority of this most local level of government.”



Councillor Deirdre Roberts from Tonyrefail commented:


“The joint meeting was very positive and it was good to hear from the Minister that he wants to see an enhanced role for Community Councils.  It’s clear that colleagues in other Community Councils share similar frustrations about the limits of our current powers and are united in wanting to do more for our communities.  We hope that our report will encourage Welsh Government to be bold about their plans for Community Councils in the future.”



The joint meeting was also attended by a number of Council Clerks.  Rachel Smith, Clerk to Pontypridd Town Council said:


“Pontypridd Town Council was keen to contribute to the debate on the future shape and scope of community local government, so it was good to have the opportunity to work with other Councils in the Taff Ely area on a joint submission.  We quickly found consensus on the majority of the key issues and hope that the Welsh Government will respond positively to our ideas on how local Councils can make an even greater contribution their communities in the future.”