Report raises issues of development uncertainty?

First published in News

A SOUTH Wales Central AM has expressed concerns that existing local development plans, could prove uncertain following publication of the Williams Commission’s report.

Vale-based Welsh Government Tory leader, Andrew RT Davies said proposals to merge Cardiff and the Vale into one local authority would create further uncertainty and at great cost to the taxpayer.

He also questioned whether First Minister, Carwyn Jones had a democratic mandate to enforce such a move, with local government reorganisation not having featured in Labour’s 2011 manifesto for the National Assembly.

He said: “Vale residents have been through enough uncertainty and a lot of public money has been spent on the various stages of putting together a Local Development Plan for the area.

“Pretty much out of the blue, we learn that the Welsh Government is considering abolishing the Vale of Glamorgan local authority altogether, which will have a transformational impact on local planning.

“Whilst it is vital that local authorities have a plan in place to ensure stable, sustainable development, residents will now worry about the long term plan which could be fundamentally revisited if a merger with Cardiff Council is to be imposed by the Welsh Labour Government.”

“I hope that the leader of the Vale Labour-led council will make his position clear on any future merger. Residents will want to know whether he plans to stand up for the Vale or roll over.

“It would be a very sad day for democracy in Wales if any systemic reform leads communities to feel greater disconnect with local authorities.”

The Vale Council had not responded at the time of going to press.

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