Agenda and minutes

Strong Communities Select Committee - Thursday, 10th February, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall, Usk - Remote Attendance. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Open Forum.

Select Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance


Our Select Committee meetings are live streamed and a link to the live stream will be available on the meeting page of the Monmouthshire County Council website


If you would like to share your thoughts on any proposals being discussed by Select Committees, you can submit your representation via this form


·      Please share your views by uploading a video or audio file (maximum of 4 minutes) or;

·      Please submit a written representation (via Microsoft Word, maximum of 500 words)


You will need to register for a My Monmouthshire account in order to submit the representation or use your log in, if you have registered previously.


The deadline for submitting representations to the Council is 5pm three clear working days in advance of the meeting.


If representations received exceed 30 minutes, a selection of these based on theme will be shared at the Select Committee meeting.  All representations received will be made available to councillors prior to the meeting.

If you would like to suggest future topics for scrutiny by one of our Select Committees, please do so by emailing



No public submissions were received.



Welsh Language pdf icon PDF 936 KB

To discuss the new 5-year Welsh Language Strategy.

Additional documents:


Alan Burkitt presented the report, ran through the consultation responses, and answered the members’ questions.


There is a large number of Welsh speakers in the south of the county but north of the county is not as strong. However, Ysgol Y Fenni is doing well and Ysgol Y Ffin is struggling with numbers. Do we have any ideas as to why that’s the case?

Yes, it is remarkable how many speakers are in the Caldicot area – mostly due to people having moved from elsewhere in Wales to work in the steel industry. But Abergavenny also has a lot of speakers, and several Welsh language societies. There is more of a network around the school there than is the case for Ysgol Y Ffin. Being a Welsh speaker doesn’t necessarily translate into numbers of people going to Welsh language events. A parent in Caldicot is less likely to put their child on a bus to go to Ysgol Gyfun Gwent Isgoed in Newport when they can go the local English language comprehensive. It could be that this affects Chepstow more: if a child goes from Chepstow to Ysgol Y Ffin they will then have to go to Gwent Isgoed for their secondary provision, which is a considerable distance. So, it is very difficult. The existing Welsh secondary provision outside the county is excellent but the geographical considerations are potentially prohibitive – when parents plan their children’s education they think about the whole journey, and the lack of secondary provision in the county therefore has a strong bearing on their decision as to which primary school to send their children to.

If a child goes from Ysgol Y Ffin to Gwent Isgoed in Newport, they slip out of Monmouthshire’s responsibility. How can we integrate how the schools work across borders?

If we had our own provision in the county we would perhaps look after them better, as we would know where they are, and we would simply continue our existing care and responsibility, but this is perhaps more of a question for CYP.

It is important that we have a secondary school somewhere in Monmouthshire, as the existing distances are difficult for parents, and there will be numbers of children learning in primary school, for whom it then lapses. Hopefully there will be a good Welsh provision in the new school in Abergavenny.

Yes, if someone wants their child to learn Welsh in Monmouthshire then they have to make a particular effort. The same can be said for religious education, e.g. to attend a Catholic school, pupils can only go to St. Albans in Torfaen. Again, this would be bettered addressed in CYP.

With public engagement going forward, what would be required for someone to attend a committee, ask a question in Welsh, and have simultaneous translation?

The person would have to give notice – the rule is five working days – so that a simultaneous translator can be arranged. The council chamber is now fully equipped for simultaneous translation,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


To confirm minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 779 KB


The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record, proposed by Councillor Webb and seconded by Councillor Edwards. The minutes for 6th October were also confirmed, proposed by Councillor Treharne and seconded by Councillor Webb.



Action list


Strong Communities forward work programme pdf icon PDF 492 KB


We will meet as a new administration to work out the forward work programme, which might depend on proposed new scrutiny structures coming into effect.



Cabinet & Council forward work programme pdf icon PDF 202 KB


Date and time of next meeting: 10th March 2022 at 2.00pm