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Monmouthshire County Council

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Monmouthshire County Council

Cyngor Sir Fynwy
Coat of arms or logo
Founded1 April 1996
Preceded byMonmouth Borough Council
Gwent County Council
Meirion Howells,
since 18 May 2023[1]
Mary Ann Brocklesby,
since 19 May 2022[2]
Paul Matthews
since 2009[3]
Political groups
Administration (23)
  Labour (22)
  Green (1)
Other Parties (23)
  Conservative (18)
  Independent (5)
Length of term
5 years
First past the post
First election
4 May 1995
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
Utrique Fidelis (Faithful to both)[4]
Meeting place
County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA

Monmouthshire County Council (or simply Monmouthshire Council) (Welsh: Cyngor Sir Fynwy) is the governing body for the Monmouthshire principal area – one of the unitary authorities of Wales.

The current unitary authority was created in 1996 and covers the eastern three-fifths of the historic county of Monmouthshire. The county council is based at County Hall in the hamlet of The Rhadyr, near Usk.

Since the 2022 elections the council has been under no overall control, with Labour the largest party. The leader of the council since the 2022 elections has been Mary Ann Brocklesby of Labour. In May 2023, Green Party Councillor Ian Chandler joined the administration.


Shire Hall, Newport: Headquarters of the pre-1974 Monmouthshire County Council

The current Monmouthshire County Council is the second body of that name. The first Monmouthshire County Council was created in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888, taking over the local government functions of the quarter sessions.[5] That council was based in Newport, initially meeting at the town hall and later building itself headquarters at Shire Hall in 1902.[6][7] From 1891 Newport was a county borough and therefore outside the dominion of the county council, although the council continued to be based there. The first Monmouthshire County Council was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, when the area was absorbed into the new county of Gwent.[8] Gwent County Council moved its headquarters to a new County Hall at Croesyceiliog on the outskirts of Cwmbran, which was already under construction at the time of the 1974 reforms.[9]

The current Monmouthshire County Council was created in 1996 under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, which abolished Gwent County Council and the area's five district councils, creating new unitary authorities. The new authorities in Gwent were based on the previous districts, with the new Monmouthshire authority covering the pre-1996 Monmouth Borough plus the community of Llanelly from Blaenau Gwent district.[10]

Political control[edit]

The first election to the new council was held in 1995, initially operating as a shadow authority before coming into its powers on 1 April 1996. Political control of the council since 1996 has been held by the following parties:[11]

Party in control Years
Labour 1996–1999
No overall control 1999–2004
Conservative 2004–2012
No overall control 2012–2017
Conservative 2017–2022
No overall control 2022–present


The leaders of the council since 2002 have been:[12]

Councillor Party From To
Andrew Crump Conservative Jul 2002
David Waring[13][14] Labour Jul 2002 Jun 2004
Andrew Crump[15] Conservative Jun 2004 May 2008
Peter Fox[16] Conservative May 2008 13 May 2021
Richard John[17] Conservative 13 May 2021 19 May 2022
Mary Ann Brocklesby[18] Labour 19 May 2022


Following the 2022 election, the composition of the council was:

Party Councillors
Labour 22
Conservative 18
Independent 5
Green 1
Total 46

Four of the independent councillors sit together as the "Independent Group", the other sat with the Green councillor as the "Green Independent Group".[19] In May 2023, Green Party Councillor Ian Chandler joined the administration.[20] The next election is due in 2027.


Elections take place every five years. In the 2022 elections, Welsh Labour became the largest party, with 22 seats, and the Conservatives lost their overall majority, winning 18 of the 46 seats. The final result was decided by the toss of a coin after a tie between Conservative and Labour candidates in the ward of Llanfoist Fawr and Govilon; the seat was taken by the Conservatives.[21] After the election, Labour formed a minority administration, with Mary Ann Brocklesby appointed as the first female leader of the council.[18]

Year Seats Labour Conservative Others Green Liberal Democrats Plaid Cymru Notes
1995 42 26 11 4 0 1 0 Labour majority control[22]
1999 42 18 19 4 0 1 0 No overall control; minority Labour administration
2004 43 9 23 5 0 4 2 Conservative majority control. New ward boundaries.[23]
2008 43 7 29 1 0 5 1 Conservative majority control
2012 43 11 19 10 0 3 0 No overall control; Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition[24]
2017 43 10 25 5 0 3 0 Conservative majority control
2022 46 22 18 5 1 0 0 No overall control; minority Labour administration. New ward boundaries.[25]

Party with the most elected councillors in bold. Coalition agreements in notes column.


From 1996 until April 2012, the council's administrative headquarters were at the six-storey former Gwent County Hall at Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran – outside its own dominion in the neighbouring borough of Torfaen and shared with Torfaen County Borough Council. It was closed because of "concrete cancer" and later demolished.[26] In 2010 the authority had decided to relocate its headquarters functions to new offices at The Rhadyr in the community of Llanbadoc, just outside the town of Usk.[27] Planning permission for the new building was granted in September 2011.[28] The council moved to temporary offices in Magor whilst the new building was under construction.[29]

A BBC television documentary "Carrying On at the Council" was broadcast in February 2012, after being filmed with Monmouthshire County Council over a period of seven months, in the lead up to their office move.[30] The new county hall cost £6 million and was opened in 2013.[31]

Electoral districts, areas and communities[edit]

Electoral divisions in Monmouthshire

For the purposes of electing councillors, the principal area is divided into forty-two electoral divisions, each returning one councillor, except Llanelly, known as Llanelly Hill, which has two councillors. These divisions date from 2004.[32]

The council operates a decentralised system of administration, with four area committees:

Although the council is described as a "unitary authority", there is in fact a second tier of government, with the entire area being divided into communities, all of which has either a town or community council.

Bryn y Cwm area[edit]

Electoral Division Community Other Places
Cantref Abergavenny (Town) (part) Knoll Estate
Castle Abergavenny (Town) (part)
Croesonen Llantilio Pertholey (part) Llwynu (part)
Crucorney Crucorney and Grosmont Campstone, Cupid's Hill, Cwmyoy, Forest Coal Pit, Grosmont, Henllan, Llangattock-Lingoed, Llangua, Llanthony, Llanvetherine, Llanfihangel Crucorney, Monmouth Cap, Pandy, Pedbidwal, Stanton, Wern Gifford
Goetre Fawr Goetre Fawr Little Mill, Mamhilad, Nant-y-derry, Pencroesoped, Penperlleni,
Grofield Abergavenny (Town) (part)
Lansdown Abergavenny (Town) (part) Llwynu (part), Major's Barn
Llanelly Hill Llanelly Blackrock, Clydach, Gellifelin, Gilwern, Maesygwartha, Waun Wen
Llanfoist Fawr Llanfoist Fawr (part) Belli-glas, Llanellen, Llanfoist
Llanover Llanarth and Llanover Aberffrwd, Betws newydd, Bryngwyn, Clytha, Croes Hywel, Llanarth, Llanddewi Rhydderch, Llanfair Kilgeddin, Llanvapley, Llanvihangel Gobion, Penpergwm, Pit Clytha, The Bryn, Upper Llanover, Wern-y-Cwrt,
Llanwenarth Ultra Llanfoist Fawr (part) Govilon, Llanwenarth
Mardy Llantilio Pertholey (part) Bryngwenin, Llanddewi Skirrid,
Priory Abergavenny (Town) (part)

Central Monmouthshire area[edit]

Electoral Division Community Other Places
Dixton with Osbaston Monmouth (Town) (part) Buckholt, Osbaston, Dixton, Dixton Road, Town Centre (part), Manson, Manson Cross, Leasbrook Lane, Newton Court
Drybridge Monmouth (Town) (part) Ancrehill, Brook Estate
Llanbadoc Gwehelog Fawr and Llanbadoc Glascoed, Gwehelog, Kemeys Commander, Llancayo, Monkswood, Rhadyr, Trostrey
Llangybi Fawr Llangybi, Llanhennock and Llantrisant Fawr Coed y paen, Gwernesney, Newbridge-on-Usk, Llandegveth, Llanllowell, Llangybi, Llantrisant, Tredunnock
Llantilio Crossenny Llangattock-Vibon-Avel and Llantilio Crossenny Bont, Caggle Street, Cross Ash, Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, Norton, Rockfield, St. Maughans, Skenfrith, Tal-y-coed, Treadam, Walson
Mitchel Troy Mitchel Troy Cwmcarvan, Dingestow, Jingle Street, Wonastow, Tregare, Lydart (part)
Overmonnow Monmouth (Town) (part) Wonastow Road
Raglan Raglan Coed-y-fedw, Kingcoed, Llandenny, Llangovan, Pen-y-clawdd, Twyn y Sheriff
Trellech United Trellech United Catbrook, Hoop, Llandogo, Llanishen, Maryland, Penallt, The Narth, Treleck, Whitebrook
Usk Usk (Town)
Wyesham Monmouth (Town) (part) Wyesham, Hadnock, The Kymin

Lower Wye area[edit]

Electoral Division Community Other areas
Caerwent Caerwent Carrow Hill, Crick, Five Lanes, Llanvair Discoed, Trewen, St. Brides Netherwent, Carrow Hill, Highmoor Hill
Devauden Devauden and Llangwm Cobbler's Plain, Gaer Fawr, Howick, Itton, Llanfihangel Tor-y-Mynydd, Llangwm, Llansoy, Star Hill, Wolvesnewton
Larkfield Chepstow (part) Bulwark (part), High Beech, Hardwick Hill, Hardwick Court, Garden City (part)
St Arvans St Arvans and Tintern Barbadoes Green, Botany Bay, Chapel Hill, Porthcasseg, Parkhouse, The Cot
St Christopher's Chepstow (part) Bulwark (part), The Triangle
St Kingsmark Chepstow (part) St. Lawrence Park, The Danes, Bayfield Hamlet, The Bayfields, Crossway Green
St Mary's Chepstow (part) Chepstow Town Centre,Lower Chepstow, Garden City
Shirenewton Mathern and Shirenewton Bullyhole Bottom, Earlswood, Gaerllwyd, Mathern, Mounton, Mynydd-bach, Newton Green, Pwllmeyric, Pen-y-Cae Mawr, Haysgate
Thornwell Chepstow (part) Bulwark (part), Thornwell


Electoral Division Community Other areas
Caldicot Castle Caldicot (Town) (part)
Dewstow Caldicot (Town) (part)
Green Lane Caldicot (Town) (part)
Mill Magor with Undy (part) Knollbury, Llandevenny, Magor
Portskewett Portskewett Ifton, Leechpool, Mount Ballan, Sudbrook
Rogiet Rogiet Llanfihangel Rogiet
Severn Caldicot (Town) (part) Deepweir
The Elms Magor with Undy (part) St. Bride's Netherwent, Undy, Vinegar Hill
West End Caldicot (Town) (part)


  1. ^ "Council minutes, 18 May 2023". Monmouthshire County Council. 18 May 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 19 May 2022" (PDF). Monmouthshire County Council. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Top Torfaen officer to get Monmouthshire chief's job". South Wales Argus. 28 May 2009.
  4. ^ Civic Heraldry of Wales. Retrieved 8 January 2012
  5. ^ "Local Government Act 1888", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1888 c. 41, retrieved 8 October 2022
  6. ^ "Monmouthshire". Western Mail. Cardiff. 2 April 1889. p. 3. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  7. ^ Cadw. "Shire Hall (including Queen's Chambers) (Grade II) (20528)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 8 October 2022
  9. ^ "County Hall, Cwmbran". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Local Government (Wales) Act 1994", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1994 c. 19, retrieved 8 October 2022
  11. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Council minutes". Monmouthshire County Council. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  13. ^ "How your council operates". Monmouthshire County Council. Archived from the original on 20 August 2002. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Will power shift in council?". Free Press. 8 June 2004. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  15. ^ Flynn, Lesley (21 May 2008). "'Stabbed in the back'". Free Press. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  16. ^ Gill, Emily (14 May 2021). "Monmouthshire: Emotional Peter Fox closes "huge chapter" in his life as he stands down as council leader". Free Press. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Councillor Richard John announced as new Leader of Monmouthshire County Council", Monmouthshire County Council, 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021
  18. ^ a b Davies, Jon (19 May 2022). "Labour councillor elected first female Leader of Monmouthshire Council". Monmouthshire Beacon. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Your councillors by political grouping". Monmouthshire County Council. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Coalition with Greens strengthens Labour control in Monmouthshire", NationCymru, 19 May 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023
  21. ^ Barnes, Dan (6 May 2022). "Labour miss out on stealing Tory majority in Monmouthshire in coin toss". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Monmouthshire County Council Election Results 1995-2012" (PDF). electionscentre.co.uk.
  23. ^ "The County of Monmouthshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2002", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2002/3275, retrieved 8 October 2022
  24. ^ Monmouthshire County Council, "Election results at a glance". Retrieved 19 May 2012
  25. ^ "The County of Monmouthshire (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2021", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2021/1232, retrieved 8 October 2022
  26. ^ "Cwmbran County Hall demolition may need hole filling". BBC News. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  27. ^ Monmouthshire County Council press release, "This council is coming home", 12 January 2010 Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Free Press, Plans for new Monmouthshire council HQ in Usk are approved, 29 September 2011
  29. ^ "Council buys new base in Magor". South Wales Argus. 9 May 2010.
  30. ^ "Council happy with 'Carry On' BBC documentary". Abergavenny Chronicle. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  31. ^ Clare Gabriel (18 April 2013). "Monmouthshire Council: 'Agile' working means too few desks". BBC News. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  32. ^ The County of Monmouthshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2002 (2002 No. 3275 (W.313))
  33. ^ Monmouthshire Council – Area Committees Archived 3 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine