Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies questions Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones in the National Assembly.

Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies questions Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones in the National Assembly.

The Welsh Labour Government has rejected Conservative calls for a public referendum on its plans to forcibly merge the Vale of Glamorgan with Cardiff.

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones said local government re-organisation would go ahead - as planned

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones said yesterday local government re-organisation would go ahead – as planned

In the Welsh Assembly, Labour’s First Minister Carwyn Jones was asked if he would confirm that the Vale of Glamorgan would “disappear from the face of the local government map in Wales” if a Labour Welsh Government is re-elected  May 5th.

The First Minister said that [if  re-elected]  Labour would press ahead with local government mergers.

Penarth's Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies - Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly Andrew R T Davies

Penarth’s Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies – Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly

Welsh Conservatives have said that if they win the Assembly Election and form the next Welsh Government they will offer a local referendum in the Vale of Glamorgan so that voters can decide whether the Vale merges with Cardiff or not.

Later Penarth AM and leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew R T Davies (South Wales Central) pointed a finger at the Vale Labour AM  Jane Hutt.

Welsh Labour Government Fianance Minister Jane Hutt has admitted a doubling of the Welsh Labour Government's advertising spend

Blamed: Jane Hutt (incumbent Labour AM for the Vale of Glamorgan)  is accused of acquiescing to Labour’s plans to force a merger between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Cardiff Council

He said  “Residents across the Vale of Glamorgan will rightly question and wonder what their Assembly Member [ Hutt] is actually doing or saying at the cabinet table as she continues to stand aside while Carwyn Jones continues with this desire to wipe the Vale off the map.”

Davies said “A vote for Labour and Jane Hutt therefore means curtains for the Vale of Glamorgan and its incredibly unique identity. Welsh Conservatives are the only party committed to giving residents the final say on council reorganisation via a local referendum and we will ensure the Vale’s unique identity is preserved”.

He added “It is only right the Vale of Glamorgan should have the final say over their future. Labour’s plans, with a mute minister” [meaning Jane Hutt] “just standing by and watching, deny them that right.”

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  1. hopenotnasty says:

    The Welsh public are not stupid. R.T. Davies knows only too well that the tories are despised by thousands of families due to what they did to the mining industry. Tories winning in May is not an option or forming a coalition.

    The merger makes sense for Cardiff and the vale. Bring on the millions of savings for hard pressed council tax payers.

  2. William Jones says:

    Do all you labour supporters realy think Cardiff City council will give a toss about Penarth , Barry or the Vale in a take over ? They are as cash strapped as the rest of the country. This will inevitably , open the door for Cardiff City Council to milk every last drop of money from the Vale. And further more Ms. Hutt is not as daft as she makes out she is by keeping her head down. I wonder how long it will take for her to slide in to some “promotion” after the merger… if it goes ahead.

  3. Ian Perry says:

    It’s unclear what savings a merger will bring about. The assumption that one larger authority will be more efficient does not appear to be proven. Whilst you may make redundant some senior managers, you may need others due to the increase workload in other areas – and reducing employment in the area is unlikely to bring benefits…

    Some of the costs of the council are down to citizens making choices, for example buying excessive products, and then expecting the council to pay to remove these items/materials from their homes. Others drive excessively heavy vehicles that do more damage than lighter vehicles, with the cost of road repairs paid for by the taxpayer, not the person damaging our streets.

    The council is rightly unpopular with many people. There are many things that could be done much better. At the top of my list would be ending the meaningless “consultations” they hold, and replacing them with meaningful citizen participation.

  4. Interesting observations from several readers. But just consider these points if you will:
    1. If the Vale is merged with Cardiff (as happened once before in 1974) in the name of South Glamorgan, then Cardiff will have the bulk of the population (say 450,000), whilst the Vale has 120,000. This means that on a share-out basis, the Vale would have just over 26% share of the Council Tax proceeds, whilst Cardiff would get nearly 75%. That means that most of the money would be spent on the expensive things that Cardiff has to maintain e.g. The Castle, New Theatre, Millenium Centre, Harbour Authority, City Hall, scores of run down schools, over 100 publicly owned buildings and so on.

    Just how the Vale with its country lanes, small towns and scores of villages would fare is open to speculation. The last vote to keep out of Cardiff was won with a huge majority, and most of us are quite happy with the way things are despite some niggles. Cardiff wants our airport for development – possibly Council Houses and factories, it wants our green fields for tens of thousand more houses, and it wants our coast and beaches because Cardiff only has muddy rivers !

    Take your pick I say !

    • Sick of the same old politicians says:

      So lets apply Councillor Ernest’s logic to the current council. Barry has the bulk of the population so has the lion’s share of the cash. Seems to me us Penarthians are no worse off.

  5. Lindsay says:

    “Most of us are quite happy with the way things are…” You’re obviously not a regular reader Mr Ernest. This place is usually full of bile about “the way things are”

    • A local Penarth Resident says:

      Speaking of bile, your staying back then Lindsay, are you?

      • Lindsay says:

        I didn’t say I was leaving, I just tired of teasing one bellicose contributor.

    • Ian Perry says:

      I’m continuously surprised as to how much dissatisfaction there is with the Vale of Glamorgan Council – not just on PDN, or social media, but also when out and about meeting people.

      It’s also interesting that Cllr Anthony Ernest, being a member of the “Blue Team”, is so full of praise for a council led by the “Red Team”. I believe Llantwit First, the purple team, are former blues, who are working closely with the red team?

      It would seem that a vote for blue or red (or purple) will result in the same problems/issues and annoyances that many Vale residents experience.

  6. Mr L.S. Doyle says:

    The things that get said on here by certain individuals, whom hide their identity is truly shocking.
    I for one fully support RT in the way he is fighting for the Vale’s real identity and all it stands for, all we have to do now is to try achieve enough support to unseat Labour at the next election.
    There are too many hangers on, ambassadors, tzars, champions etc who have probably never had a job in the private sector in their life.
    All they do is to gripe at the likes of Chris, who in my mind does speaks great sense.

    • hopenotnasty says:

      I would like to hear how the Conservatives can form a government in Wales. Leanne Wood has categorically stated she would not work with tories. Maybe ukip? Definitely bye bye vale!

  7. hopenotnasty says:

    The last reorganisation of local government was in 1993 undertaken by the then Tory government. It created 23 unitary authorities across Wales. Many of these councils were small, under funded, with no economic clout and some have been found not fit for purpose with services failing and as a result direct rule installed.

    The savings from reducing so many chief officers from 23 to 8 would be considerable. The tories this time will not be able to make up their scam campaign as we all know they have no chance of winning control of the Welsh assembly.

    Stand at Barons Court and see where most ” penarthians” go to work and it is not Barry. Where do most people go for a night out for entertainment Cardiff of course. One council, one NHS health board all with the same boundaries.

  8. I do wonder in which area of the Public Sector some of PDN’s contributors actually work. Obviously unlike myself they do not read the local “Evening Press” which is choc a bloc full of abysmal stories of the failings of Cardiff City Council, their Education record, their constant arguments over budget “cuts” (yes they are real cuts – ask the Arts organisations and the Voluntary groups who have lost thousands in support grants this year), and THEN consider the overall picture in the Vale of Glamorgan.

    After a run of many successful years, with a high approval rating, the Conservatives lost control of the Vale, only to be succeeded by labour who have had a disastrous run of job cuts, savings, mismanagement of assets and an incredible yearly rise in your Council Tax. Of course it is your choice of Local Government, but not all is as rosy as Leighton Andrews AM tries to make out. And by the way, the local AMs for Penarth and Barry have not said a word about surrendering you to the “enemy” !!

  9. hopenotnasty says:

    Oh dear amnesia has obviously set in. How convenient not to mention the 20%+ cuts dished out to the Welsh assembly from the UK government. The carnage caused will not be forgotten and Alun Cairns supported all this misery. How is the national debt doing after 6 years in government?

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