If the Conservative Party forms the next Welsh Government – and 17 years of Labour rule comes to an end in May’s elections – there’ll be a referendum on all proposed council mergers – including the contentious plans to merge the Vale of Glamorgan with Cardiff.
The referendum pledge has been confirmed today by Penarth’s Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies – leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly.
Andrew R T Davies who represents South Wales Central (which includes Penarth) says the referendum promise will be included in the Conservative Party’s 2016 Assembly Election Manifesto.
He says that by making local authority mergers subject to a referendum, the merger proposals will have to justified to local communities, and will need a clear mandate at the ballot box before any changes are made.
Davies says Labour Ministers have “threatened a marker-pen assault on the unique identity of the Vale of Glamorgan from their cosy offices in Cathays Park; without necessary discussion – or consultation with the people on whom local services impact the most . He says “Where councils can work together, share services and save money, they have the backing and support of Welsh Conservatives – but only with the consent of local people.”
The Welsh Conservative also plan to bring in a “Localism & Citizenship (Wales) Bill” which they say will “transform the public’s role in the decision-making process” . Davies says “For too long, Labour Ministers have denied communities across the Vale of Glamorgan a real say over matters which affect their day-to-day lives”.