Welsh community councils are a direct replacement for earlier parish councils, under the Local Government Act 1972. Modern Community Councils carry out a wide wide range of functions covered by Westminster or Welsh Assembly legislation. A list of specific duties and powers can be found on pages 32-38 of the “Good Councillor's Guide” published by the Welsh Government in 2016.
Bishton Community Council is the first level of our local government. The elected or co-opted Councillors represent the three villages of Underwood, Bishton and Wilcrick and the surrounding rural area. We have two main roles. The first is to give grassroots advice to decision makers, notably Newport City Council (NCC), on any issues affecting the well-being of our community, including planning applications, roads, buses, crime prevention and footpaths. Our second role is to provide some discretionary services ourselves, notably: community centres, parks, exercise facilities, playing fields, and allotments.
To fund your Council, we raise money from 3 sources - an earmarked or “precepted” amount of Council Tax; an annual contribution from NCC to help pay for the services we provide; and revenue from those services (eg room rentals). Our total annual expenditure in 2016-17 was £44,305.19 .In the current year, the average Council Tax payer in our area on Band D will pay £12 (ie £1 a month) towards the Community Council, compared with £1008 (£84 a month) to Newport City Council.
The Council's monthly meetings are held in Underwood Community Centre or Bishton Village Hall on the first Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise stated. Additional meetings may be held to deal with urgent issues. All meetings are advertised on this website, and on local notice boards. Any local resident is welcome to attend Council Meetings, where you will usually be able to speak as a member of the public. Agendas and Minutes of Council meetings are available on this website. If you wish to raise a specific item on the agenda please contact the Clerk.
There are currently 11 Councillors on the Council. The next full elections are due in May 2021. Vacancies on the Council between elections may also be filled by co-opting Councillors and these are advertised on this website. The Council employs 3 staff on a part time basis: the Clerk and two cleaners. The Council is the leasehold owner on your behalf of Underwood Community Centre, including the exercise facilities; the Underwood football fields, changing rooms & cycle track; and the park/playground in Bishton. We also have sole or joint freehold ownership of Bishton Village Hall and the Underwood allotments.