Community groups in Monmouth will be helped by the town council after members agreed in principle to set up partnerships with a variety of local groups.

At their full council meeting last month Monmouth Town Council agreed to the principle of entering longer term partnerships with local groups and charities for the benefit of the community.

Monmouth Town Council has previously supported local groups with funding through its Community Contributions scheme.

Schemes funded over the years include Monmouth Summer Playscheme and Citizens Advice Bureau, however, applications for the scheme are considered each year meaning organisations must continually reapply for new funding.

MTC’s partnership agreements provide funding security to local groups, reducing administration for the applicants and the council and ensures that the organisation can continue to provide its services to the residents of Monmouth in the knowledge of the council’s longer-term commitments.

As a result of the agreement reached at the full council meeting, the council is now in the process of finalising Partnership Agreements with Mind Monmouthshire, The Savoy Trust and Monmouth Rotary Club, Community Champions for providing planting in town.

Mind Monmouthshire has provided mental health support to the residents of Monmouth for some time and they approached Monmouth Town Council in 2020 when a large portion of funding from other sources was due to be withdrawn.

There were fears that the services provided in Monmouth would not be able to continue.

Following that initial discussion, Monmouth was hit with flooding and then the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both situations proved the need to ensure that Mind Monmouthshire was able to continue its work in Monmouth which culminated in Monmouth Town Council agreeing to enter into a partnership agreement with them.

This will secure funding for Mind Monmouthshire of £15,000 per year for provision of services in Monmouth for the next two years (2021-2023).

This direct funding will enable Mind Monmouthshire to be in Monmouth for two days a week as well as their on-line and telephone support, providing services to those who need support and guidance.

Mayor Mat Feakins said “We recognise that the pandemic has had a significant impact on us all, every one of us, right across the board. We are very lucky to have such a great local charity that can respond and support us all in our community in such difficult times.”

Locum Town Clerk, Deborah McNeill added “the new partnership agreement way of working will significantly reduce the burden to applicants and reduce the workload within the Council administration”.

While Cllr Sue White commented “this seems a much better way of working and our community needs our support now more than ever”.

For more information about the services Mind Monmouthshire provide, please see their website

The Savoy Trust initially applied for funding through the Community Grants scheme in 2020 requesting financial support to purchase PPE so that they could reopen the theatre as soon as possible following the commercially devastating need to close during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was felt by the council, that the Savoy Trust should be supported in the longer term ensuring that the oldest theatre site in Wales is available to all for as long as possible.

It is with this in mind, that Monmouth Town Council agreed to the principle of funding the trust in return for their provision of free youth passes for all Monmouth Town primary school children aged between 5 and 11 years old for one Saturday a month at the theatre for the sum of £15,000 per year for three years.

Monmouth Rotary Community Champions have been providing the Green Wall planting scheme on the Blestium Street toilet block for a number of years with the annual support of the Town Council.

The scheme is run by local volunteers and is considered by everyone as being highly successful in providing a bright and colourful frontpiece to an otherwise tired building.

The Town Council agreed to support the Green Wall planting scheme for the sum of £2,000 per year for three years via a Partnership Agreement.

Environmental Committee Chair, Cllr Terry Christopher said: “We are all very grateful to the Community Champions for all their hard work over the years in making this scheme a success. This new funding agreement allows the volunteers to focus on what they are really good at and removes the red-tape - form filling each year.”

Partnership Agreements – a better way of working.

Monmouth Mayor Mat Feakins said “Monmouth Town Council is committed to providing an efficient delivery of support and services with a sharp view on providing better and more regular outcomes. The Partnership Agreements will deliver on all those points allowing us to become more dynamic and responsive in such difficult times”.

If you would like more information about how a partnership with Monmouth Town Council could support your charity, please contact [email protected].