Gwent County Council

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Gwent County Council

Cyngor Sir Gwent
Arms of Monmouthshire County Council.svg
Coat of arms of the county council, inherited from Monmouthshire CC
History
Founded1 April 1974; 48 years ago (1974-04-01)
Disbanded31 March 1996; 26 years ago (1996-03-31)
Preceded by
  • Monmouthshire County Council (1889-1974)
  • Newport County Borough Council (1891-1974)
  • Breconshire County Council (part) (1889-1974)
Succeeded by
Elections
First election
12 April 1973
Last election
May 1993
Meeting place
Gwent County Hall, Turnpike Road, Croesyceiliog - geograph.org.uk - 399395.jpg
County Hall, Cwmbran, from 1977

Gwent County Council (Welsh: Cyngor Sir Gwent) was the upper-tier local authority that governed the county of Gwent in South Wales from its creation in 1974 to its abolition in 1996. For most of its existence, the county council was based in Cwmbran.

History[edit]

Gwent County Council was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It took over the geographical area and main roles of the previous councils, Monmouthshire County Council (1889–1974) and Newport County Borough Council (1891–1974), subject to some boundary changes along the western border. Five district councils provided a second tier of government, namely Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen.[1]

Political control[edit]

The first election to the county council was held on 12 April 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until it came into its powers on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council from 1974 until its abolition in 1996 was held by the following parties:[2]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1977
No overall control 1977–1981
Labour 1981–1996

The first Chief Executive of Gwent County Council was James Bray, who had previously been deputy clerk of Monmouthshire County Council.[1] The Chairman of Gwent County Council from 1974 was 78-year-old Councillor Barney O'Neill, who had previously been a representative on Monmouthshire County Council and Chepstow Urban District Council.[1]

Elections[edit]

At the first election in 1973, 78 councillors were elected from 66 electoral divisions.[3] The number of councillors was reduced to 63 in 1989.[4]

Year Seats Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats[a] Plaid Cymru Independent Others Notes
1973 78 59 12 3 1 1 2
1977 78 36 27 1 2 6 5
1981 78 63 12 1 1 1 -
1985 78 65 9 1 1 - -
1989 63 55 7 - - 1 - New division boundaries.[5]
1993 63 55 6 1 1 - -
  1. ^ Includes Liberals and SDP pre-1988

Premises[edit]

The council was initially based at the old Monmouthshire County Council's headquarters at Shire Hall in Newport, while a new headquarters was being built in Cwmbran.[6] The new County Hall was on Turnpike Road in Croesyceiliog, on the eastern outskirts of Cwmbran, and was completed in 1977.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Counties and Districts - Gwent". Western Mail ("The New Wales" supplement). Wales. 22 March 1974. p. 8.
  2. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Dad gets her vote - but he still loses seat - Gwent (results)". South Wales Echo. 13 April 1973. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Gwent County Council Election Results 1973-1993" (PDF). The Elections Centre (Plymouth University). Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  5. ^ "The County of Gwent (Electoral Arrangements) Order 1988", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1988/1966, retrieved 6 October 2022
  6. ^ Niall Griffiths (20 August 2019). "Old Gwent County Council headquarters site in Croesyceiliog to get almost 150 new homes". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  7. ^ Newman, John (2000). Gwent/Monmouthshire. Yale University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0300096309.