MONMOUTHSHIRE council’s cabinet has agreed to support a new partnership with neighbouring authorities on both sides of the border.
The Cross Border Marches Partnership will see it work with Welsh neighbour Powys, as well as Herefordshire and Shropshire from the other side of Offa’s Dyke.
Monmouthshire council’s Labour leader Mary Ann Brocklesby, who represents Llanelly Hill near Abergavenny, said the intention is the councils will work together to tackle issues such as inequality and be able to attract funding from governments.
She said: “The UK Government is particularly keen to invest in partnerships in rural communities.”
She added that the “UK and Welsh governments” have been “very urban-centric” but told the cabinet “we are pushing on an open door”.
The cross border partnership is a voluntary agreement between the councils which the leader said means it doesn’t carry the same costs or obligations of formal cooperations such as the Cardiff Capital Region.
It is anticipated political leaders will meet quarterly, usually online, with more regular meetings between staff though an annual meeting is likely to be in person.
Cllr Brocklesby said: “It’s not anticipated the meetings will be open to the public but the minutes will be published in the normal way.”
Cllr Catrin Maby, who represents Drybridge, said it had struck her that Gloucestershire hadn’t been included in the partnership, but the leader said the partnership could develop over time.
Monmouthshire’s cabinet formally agreed to establish the partnership through a joint leaders group and signing of a memorandum of understanding as well giving approval for senior officers to press ahead with planning.