Glynneath Town Council came into being following the Local Government Act (1972) when local authorities across Wales were restructured. Initially to be known as Glynneath Community Council, the members elected at the 1974 election decided soon after this time to re-name the council as Glynneath Town Council, which was an option open to councils with an electorate of 3,000 or over. The Chair of a Town Council is called a Mayor of the Town, but other than the title this post holder holds no significant elements of power or authority. The Mayor is elected by the full Council at the Annual Meeting in May of each year and, traditionally, he or she would be the longest serving councillor although, legally, this need not necessarily be the case.

The Council is divided into four electoral wards, namely, the East ward, the Central ward, the West ward and the West Central ward. There are fourteen councillors designated for the Glynneath Town Council in total, with three members to be elected for the East ward, four members to be elected for the Central ward, four members to be elected for the West ward and three members to be elected for the West Central ward. Elections are normally held every five years, at the same time as the elections for the County Borough Council of Neath Port Talbot, which is a totally separate local authority operating on a larger and wider scale than local councils such as Glynneath Town Council.

Glynneath Town Council normally holds monthly full council meetings, open for members of the public to attend as observers. The Council will also have a number of committees that it establishes from time to time, and these may also hold meetings where members of the public would be welcome to attend. Meetings are advertised on the Council’s website and on notice boards, and the minutes (records) of all meetings are available for the public to read. The Council has a small number of employees who work for and operate the main functions of the authority, under the leadership of the Town Clerk, the most senior officer of the Council. The Town Clerk is answerable to the elected councillors on Glynneath Town Council.

The Town Council has responsibility for a number of assets, including the Welfare Park and the Pavilion, the Dynamic Park, the Pontwalby Play Area, the Waungron Cemetery, the Town Hall and the Bethania Community Centre where the administration of the Council is based. The Council is funded by raising a Precept each year, which is a proportion of what residents pay via their Council Tax contributions. Smaller amounts are also raised from fees and payments charged by the Council for its services and also from various grants and loans that can be applied for.

You can read more about the background of Community and Town Councils on the Welsh Government’s Website and on the Website for One Voice Wales, which is the body that provides support and guidance to local Community and Town Councils throughout Wales.