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What are Community and Town Councils?

The Community Council strives to retain and improve the community of Old St Mellons and develop an increasing spirit among the residents it serves

What is a Community Council?

There are 736 community and town councils in Wales; they are corporate bodies and local authorities. They have a powerful voice to represent local people.

What do these councils do?

Community and town councils are the part of local government closest to the people. They serve the smallest area and are responsible for the most local of matters. Very importantly, these councils can "precept" -raising a sum collected with the council tax each year to improve facilities and services for local people.

In Wales they are known as community councils or town councils if they cover a largely urban area. In England they are called parish councils. In both England and Wales they are elected units of local government whose activities are controlled by Acts of Parliament or legislation introduced by the Welsh Government.

Community and town councils have a number of basic responsibilities in making the lives of local communities more comfortable, many of which are often taken for granted. Essentially these powers fall within three main categories: representing the whole electorate within the community; delivering services to meet local needs; and striving to improve quality of life in the community.

Individual powers include the provision and maintenance of community transport schemes, traffic calming measures, local youth projects, tourism activities, leisure facilities, car parks, village greens, public lavatories, litter bins, street lighting, street cleaning, burial grounds, allotments, bus shelters, commons, opens spaces, footpaths, bridleways, and crime reduction measures.

Community and town councils can also comment on planning applications -they are statutory consultees (they have to be consulted if they so wish) and can be represented at public inquiries.

The Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 introduced the new power of ‘well being’ reflecting the Welsh government's initiative to revitalise local democracy enabling the sector to do more to improve the local social, economic and environmental situation of an area.

What do elected representatives do for their communities?

Community and town councillors represent the people living in their local area at the closest level to the community. When decisions are being made they are there to put the views of their electors across.

Further InformationIf you need any further information, please contact your local community or town council. Alternatively, you can contact One Voice Wales, the representative body for community & town councils in Wales on 01269 595400.

Old St Mellons Community Council

  • Has 9 councillors (volunteers receiving no remuneration), a part time clerk and a responsible finance officer RFO
  • Employs a caretaker and a cleaner
  • Meets monthly - except August
  • Determines and agrees the village plan and finances
  • Owns and maintains the village hall
  • Owns and maintains the Ty'r Winch Road playing fields and tennis courts
  • Has responsibility for the St Edeyrn's burial ground - available to all residents
  • Endeavours to meet the needs of the community, its wellbeing and environment e.g. bulb planting, litter picking, carol singing
  • Has close links with the Village Association by supporting the annual fete and social events thus raising funds for the benefit of all
  • The Council is, like the majority in Wales, non political

Rules for Councillors - who have a responsibility to:

  • Attend community council meetings when summoned to do so
  • Prepare for meetings
  • Take part in meetings and form objective judgements
  • Ensure, with other councillors, that the council is properly managed
  • Act on behalf of the whole electorate equally
  • Take an interest in all issues equally
  • Listen, and then represent the views of the community
  • Maintain proper standards of behaviour as an elected representative of the people