Usk Town Council was established in 1974 succeeding the Urban District Council. Housed initially in a pre- fabricated building, to the rear of the town library. Their offices moved to the Sessions House in 2000, after the purchase of that building by Usk Town Council, on behalf of the town.
The Town Council employ a Town Clerk, who provides advice and administrative support and takes action to implement council decisions. There is also a Finance Officer who prepares and presents budgets to council, at the monthly meetings, and is responsible for the maintenance and management of the Sessions House.
Usk Town Council meet monthly (with the exception of August) on the second Monday of each month at 7.30pm. Meetings are held at The Sessions House Usk. Meetings are open to the public and you are very welcome to attend. Time is set aside at the beginning of each meeting for members of the public to ask questions or raise any issues or concerns. An agenda for each meeting is published 5 working days prior to the meeting. Agendas and minutes of meetings can be accessed on the Meetings page.
The Role of the Town Council
The Town Council represents the interests of the whole community which, in the case of Usk town, is approximately 3,000 people. Understanding the needs of different groups in the community is an important part of the job, so it is the council’s responsibility to be well informed, particularly about diverse local views. The council has the authority to raise money through the precept and a range of powers to spend public money, but only when specific legislation allows it.
The Town Council can lobby and influence other decision makers and can, where budget allows, deliver services to meet local needs, ascertained through a process of public consultation. A public consultation exercise is in the process of being planned for Usk in 2018 in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council in order to establish needs and priorities for the town going forwards.
Planning, traffic, community safety, housing development, street lighting, street cleaning, playing fields, litter, seats and shelters and rights of way are some of the main issues that concern the Town Council.
Role of Councillors
Usk has 12 elected or co-opted Councillors, with a Chair (the Mayor), and a deputy, elected on an annual basis from that number. The Councillors have diverse backgrounds, skills, interests and political allegiances but work as a team to provide a service for their community.
All Councillors must observe the current ‘Code of Conduct’ and have a responsibility to attend meetings of the monthly full council. Councillors also opt to be members of sub committees, which bring together a smaller number of Councillors to concentrate on a specific function of the Council and sets of issues, and so share the workload.
Councillors must consider all the relevant facts and issues on matters that require a decision, take part in voting and respect the views and decisions made by the majority. It is a joint responsibility to ensure that the Council is properly managed.
All Councillors are encouraged to avail themselves of the training and development courses on offer.
The role of a Town Councillor is an unpaid position requiring commitment, a real interest in the community and a desire to make a difference.