A PENARTH councillor has raised concerns about the the impact on education, rubbish collection and library provision if the Vale of Glamorgan Council merged with Cardiff Council.
Conservative Cllr Anthony Ernest believes that the Labour controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council is fearful about publicly declaring its position on the possibility of it being merged with Cardiff.
Cllr Anthony Ernest, who represents the Plymouth ward of Penarth and represented the Vale for more than 30 years, said this week that no conceivable benefits could come about as a result of a merger with Cardiff, “which would simply take us back to the days of South Glamorgan, which was totally dominated by the city, and resulted in minimal spend in the Vale, especially the rural areas, whilst the larger towns received little of merit that anyone can recall.”
Cllr Ernest, a former chairman of the authority, added: “It seems that the Vale is just dithering over this issue, yet the latest Welsh Government 'consultation' calls for comments on a single proposal of merging the Vale of Glamorgan with Cardiff to be received within a matter of weeks. No alternative options are shown in the Government’s paper, yet it is obvious to most people that there is huge opposition to the proposal from residents living in the Vale, who in a referendum some years ago overwhelmingly voted to stay put as 'the Vale of Glamorgan'."
He added that he also had concerns about what impact the merger would have on a range of services:
"If you compare Cardiff’s record of educational achievement, it is much lower than that of the Vale who have several schools rated in the highest band, whilst Cardiff has performed poorly. The Vale has an excellent record in the provision of Waste Management and Recycling, which consistently receives praise from residents, whilst Cardiff considers monthly collections of black bags and a lesser recycling provision.
"The Vale has some excellent libraries which are very popular, whilst Cardiff is looking to close some down along with with some community centres. However, Leisure and Sports provision in the Vale continues to draw a high participation level amongst residents.”
Cllr. Ernest also pointed out that should the unpopular merger go ahead, that the Vale would no longer have a Mayor, and he believed the Civic Offices and Town Hall in Barry would probably be sold off by the newly based county council, who would have no need for any council offices in the Vale.
“Quite how the proposed council of some 500,00 plus residents would 'improve' services has not, of course, been stated by Labour in Cardiff Bay, and maybe this is why the leadership in the Vale of Glamorgan is desperately trying to avoid a fall-out with its political masters in the Assembly, as they too believe the proposal from the Williams Report is just an excuse for a land grab to help solve Cardiff’s unmet housing needs,” the long serving councillor concluded.