Agenda and minutes

Liaison Meeting with Community Councils - Thursday, 10th June, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Pamela Tasker  Governance Support Officer

No. Item




T. Ducroq of Nash Community Council



Local Government & Elections (Wales) Act 2021


The Chair explained that the Local Government & Elections Act was top of the agenda for preparation between now and next May 2022 and asked whether any of the Community Councils were familiar with the legislation. 

The Graig representative Nathan Tarr asked as to whether boundary changes would be affecting the Community Councils.

The Chair confirmed that the Council had undertaken an electoral review from the Boundary Commission, but the order had not been made yet by Welsh Government. This would change some of the Ward boundaries for the next council election, Rogerstone and Graig were affected but there were not too many other boundary changes.


The Graig representative asked as to whether Rogerstone would have more Councillors and the Chair confirmed that Rogerstone would have 4 Councillors due to an increased population but split into 3 different wards.

The Graig representative felt that it was a good move as Graig seemed quite isolated geographically. The Chair confirmed that there were still 2 Councillors for the Graig ward so no loss of representation there. The electoral review of the city council was  completed by the Boundary Commission last year and the new ministers in the Senedd would need to make the new orders prior to May 2022.


It was accepted that as Newport was a growing city there was a need to increase the number of Councillors for 50 to 51. However, the Chair confirmed that the Boundary commission changes  did not make a huge difference to Community Councils, as they did not change existing community boundaries, although Afan Village would move from the Graig ward into Rogerstone, which would mean slight changes to the ward representation within Rogerstone community council.

The Chair stated that eligible Community Councils could apply to Welsh Government for a General Power of Competence and this may get a mixed response, but the power was there if they wanted to use it.


The Chair stated that for Community Councils the most important points to note were:

·       Access to meetings- the requirements for remote meetings would continue. The obligations on community councils were not as onerous as City Council as the Council had to broadcast committee meetings live.  For Community Councils it was just  a requirement for members to dial in and be heard. There was a diversity agenda by Welsh Government, so if it was difficult for  councillors to travel to meetings, then they could dial in.

·       reasonable access was required for public participation in meetings. We were still awaiting guidance on this, but it will be flexible.

The Llanwern representative stated that their community council could not meet up aside from social distancing rules, as remote access could not be given as the Community Council did not have the IT infrastructure to provide this.

The Chair confirmed that the need for remote attendance was for Community Councillors etc and that was due to social distancing but when this did not apply anymore it would be sufficient for the public to attend physically then.

The Wentlooge  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Volunteer Litter-picking


The Wentlooge representative reported that there have been a lot of litter picking groups now after lockdown which raised lots of questions and the Wentlooge representatives requested for an officer to come to the next meeting to clarify some points.

It was discussed how with the bag collections it was reported that there was a refusal to collect in certain areas and the biggest point was that with the rubbish that was taken out of a ditch which was alongside the road the current understanding was that it was not a Newport Council issue but the landowner’s issue. 

The Wentlooge representative asked that in relation to the ditch on the highway was this Newport Council’s and is the rubbish there collectable or not.

The Chair confirmed that the Governance Support officer was recording the questions asked and advice from City Services would be sought in relation to who was responsible.

The Wentlooge representative stated that what was hoped for was a system of support and more support for local groups as they were cleaning a lot of areas up and it was felt that the help of the local authority was required. There are now two groups in the Wentlooge level. It was explained that over the last year a local waste company removed 300-400 bags of litter which was helping the authority by doing this as it would cost thousands, but the local groups needed support.

The Marshfield representative stated that she totally supported what the Wentlooge representatives had stated and explained that she was part of Marshfield Magpies group and over lockdown they have had a tremendous amount of litter and fly tipping. On their boundary field is a middle of a ditch and in this were 200 tyres and one lot was removed but the landowner should have removed it. Litter was removed after it was reported by using the app. The community was working really hard to solve this by reporting fly tipping, but it was felt that there was a real battle with Newport City Council and with certain officers as it was felt that they were a nuisance and that they shouldn’t be litter picking as it’s an inconvenience and causing more work.

The Chair stated that  he was surprised by these comments as litter picks are encouraged by Newport City Council, but it was not for them to reply. It may be beneficial for Christine Thomas (Trade and Enforcement Manager) or Silvia Gonzalez Lopez (Service Manager Waste and Cleansing) to attend a future Community Councils Liaison meeting to discuss litter picking.

Councillor Yvonne Forsey stated that they had spoken to a Keep Wales Tidy representative today and more provision had been made for swifter pickups on the weekend have been arranged. But there was also talk about the need to coordinate litter picks in the city.

The Chair agreed that this needed to be coordinated.



For Christine Thomas (Trade and Enforcement Manager) or Silvia Gonzalez Lopez (Service Manager Waste and Cleansing) to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Availability of Welsh Government Grants


The Wentlooge representative stated that it was important for Community Councils to know what grants were out there and that they received notifications for grants for halls, biodiversity etc are other councils hearing about this.


The Marshfield representative stated they receive notification of grants. Magpies grants have been looked at for pollinating gardens in the village and there are a lot of grants out there. Sometimes they are on the Newport bulletin. A single point or list would be great.

It was discussed that Gavin Jones was a good contact to have to discuss grants.


The Chair explained that if Newport City Council was aware of any then we would make Community Councils aware and if funding comes through us, we can spread information on it. A lot of funding was coming from Welsh Government directly to Community Councils. If we were directly involved, then we could make Councils aware, otherwise it could bypass us.


The Wentlooge representative stated that they wanted to use this forum to recommend for Councils to do lottery grant training and advised all Councils to do this. They stated that they were unaware that if you have fund matching, you can receive this through the lottery from two grants. If you received a grant and it needed to be fund matched and you needed another grant to support this, then this will be taken as the fund match.


The Chair agreed that match funding could come from a wide range of sources and there was lots of flexibility.


The Marshfield representative stated that Welsh Government had a lot of money to provide.


The Graig representative stated that there was some work needed to be done in Rhiwderin Community Centre and so they applied to the lottery, however the Lottery fund informed them that as they were a Community Council, they could not access it, so they received funding from Welsh Government instead.


The Head of Law and Regulation agreed that it did depend on the type of fund it was, as some was not available to public bodies.


The Wentlooge representative explained that he has a lottery credit card to the value of £850 for two tea parties for the VE day fund which was postponed for lockdown. However, the community council was advised that if there was a community event in the future and the funds can be used, they didn’t need to fill in a form. An idea was submitted, and the answer was then given.



Community Funds from Third Party Developers


This item was not discussed.



Community Councils and the Adverse Possession of Common Land


The Wentlooge representative explained that many years ago they were told that you couldn’t adversely possess common land. In a recent conversation it transpired that you can adversely possess it which was different to what was understood.

This spurred the community council on to address issues to do with enclosure which has been dealt with through legal over the years.


This was then passed to city services, but they have not had any responses so far.


The Wentlooge representative asked whether this new information was correct and can you adversely possess common land. If you can then they felt that they needed to address these enclosures as space maybe lost.


The Head of Law and Regulation advised that on the adverse possession point it was quite exceptional to have exclusive possession of a common because of the established public rights and it was very unusual to acquire legal title though adverse possession. However, it is possible to legally own the land and the title to common land can be bought and sold.


If it was a registered common, then ownership cannot interfere with people’s rights to enjoy the common and this was where City services come in as commons where there is management scheme then city services will manage the common.


The Countryside team was responsible for managing this land.


The Wentlooge representative stated that when the common land had no known ownership then it was all clear. However, the Common was sold and then there was an owner, and it seems when there is a problem, there needs to be an agreement from the owner to carry out certain things and the current owner is quite obstructive. The current common is overgrown and has cars on it but Julie explained that they cannot go on there as it would be trespassing.


The Head of Law and Regulation explained that if there is an owner etc then the council would need their permission to carry out work, but people have the right to walk over the common e.g., to go on there and remove litter. However, carrying out work is different as this is maybe seeking permission from the owner.


The Wentlooge Representative explained that broadband etc couldn’t be installed recently as the utility company could not get to the telegraph pole.


The Head of Law and Regulation agreed it was a difficult situation and this was why the community council was been referred to City services and explained that it was a discretion not a duty to carry out work there.

The Wentlooge representative Julie stated that they could not use it as it’s so overgrown, but the Head of Law and Regulation stated that this was a practical and not a legal problem. The Head of Law and Regulation advised that they consult a member of the legal department who would chase this up with City Services.


The Graig representative Nathan asked that if people were committing criminal offences on there can there be legal action against them.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


The Local Development Plan and Community Councils


The Wentlooge representative wanted to give thanks to Lindsey Christian (Planning Policy Manager) who organised a Teams Call and provided a very informative and beneficial session on how community councils can assist in the LDP as they are staring to work on the LDP, and advice was wanted on what their role and responsibilities on this could be.

It was also felt that it would be useful for her to come to a future meeting and address the community councils.


The Chair agreed that planning should come to the group and provide a similar presentation so this can be arranged.


The Wentlooge representative stated that the meeting was set up as Julie had asked for advice and had a team’s meeting regarding guidance on influencing the LDP and this was very helpful.


The Chair stated that the Council was about to review the LDP as it was 6 years old. The last council meeting in May 2021 where a delivery agreement was sent to Welsh Government and so next, we would invite comments, applications on candidate sites for development for inclusion in the LDP. 


It was a good time for Lindsey to come to this forum as it will take until 2024 for the final plan to be adopted.



For Lindsey Christian or Matthew Sharpe in Planning to attend a future meeting.




Any Other Business


The Marshfield representative remarked about a lack of info from Enforcement on illegal developments in the village regarding unlawful developments. There was difficulty getting more information from the Council and a complaint was sent in due to not getting any feedback at all. The Marshfield representative requested that a representative from Enforcement to come to a future meeting.


The Chair recommended for the details to be sent into the Governance Support Officer so the Chair could raise with the Head of Service.


The Marshfield representative stated that other councils may be having the same problems as well. The complaint was sent in a few months ago and it was decided that it went to the Ombudsman as it was not sufficient.


The Chair stated that if it was the case that there were issues with processes in dealing with community councils this could be raised at a future meeting.


The Wentlooge representative stated they had been involved in discussions regarding Hidden Carers who were carers for family members who were underneath the radar, and it was discovered that GPs have allocated carer officers and so does every local authority.





For the Governance Support Officer to find out the name of the Hidden Carer allocated officer.

For the Marshfield representative to email the Governance support officer any information on the Enforcement enquiry to be passed onto the Chair.



Date of the Next Meeting

16 September 2021 at 6pm


16 September 2021 at 6pm



Webcast of Committee