henllys village hall
Henllys Community Council meet in the village hall (Photo: Google Maps)

Community Councillors in Henllys have shared their frustrations over potential changes to its boundary that could see it merge with Cwmbran.

Torfaen County Borough Council has to review community council boundaries every ten years. Work started in 2022 to look at all six community councils in Torfaen, Blaenavon, Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon, Cwmbran, Henllys, Ponthir and Pontypool.

The county council is now consulting on two proposals:

• For Henllys Community Council to extend its boundaries and take over the whole community council ward of Two Locks, thus removing it from Cwmbran Community Council
• For Henllys Community Council to merge with Cwmbran Community Council as a whole
If no changes are implemented the Community Council will stay as is.

At their December meeting, councillors discussed the report.

Cllr Jonathan Lewis said that joining with Two Locks would not be a “community”. He said: “It’s not a community. It’s just joining bits together, Ty Canol would be, nothing else is logical.”

Cllr Brenda Everett said any changes would affect the “ambience of the village” that they “worked so hard to achieve.”

She added: “Why the heck can’t they put Ashleigh Court with us? They gave them the Henllys postcode by mistake. Who is on the task and finish group? It’s like a like a James Bond thriller, nothing open or transparent about anything.  I don’t see why they can’t add Ashleigh Court. They’re doing it for everybody else.”

Cllr Steve Webb said: “The Henllys and Two Locks thing doesn’t work. We lose everything if we go into Cwmbran. What happens to things we do, like Henllys Village Fete? I think it’ll get swallowed up. It makes more sense to stay as it is.”

Cllr Lawrence Smith-Higgins said: “We were told a boundary could be waterway or a road. We thought long and hard about our proposals from a point of identity. We put together a proposal that included Henlly School, down to the Fairwater roundabout and the White Hut.

“Later on they started to use an argument about the cost of elections and cost to the community. There’s only been one election in ten years, about £2,000. They’ve got my time, effort and incalculable hours for free.

“I’ve never put in a claim for expenses and now they have the audacity to start saying it was about the cost of elections. The only place elections don’t cost anything is North Korea as they don’t hold any.”

He said he felt “misled” by the consultation process and wants “to know what was the basis for coming up with these proposals?”

Cllr Smith-Higgins added: “What’s best for the residents of Henllys is to stay as we are. I’ve talked extensively to residents and they want to stay as we are. Joining Cwmbran? We’ll be minnows.”

Cllr Ron Burnett, who is also the county councillor for Two Locks, said that several years around “90 per cent” of residents in Ashleigh Court wanted to come under Henllys Community Council but the Boundary Commission “vetoed” the proposal.

He said he was worried about how any changes could affect the £5,000 payment the community council gets from a solar farm and is spent in Henllys. Cllr Burnett added: “My opinion is to stay as we are.”

Cllr Valerie Waters said: “I agreed with the enlarged area and the suggestion we put forward, to stay as we are. I’d like to register my deep concern that the process is flawed. I’m content to start drafting a response. this is all behind the fact we want Henllys to stay as it is.”

Share your views

Torfaen Council has published its recommendations following the first stage of the review. The deadline to share your views in the survey is 28 February 2024. The results will go to the task and finish group who will  draft final recommendations. The recommendation will then need to be approved by Full Council.


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