THE new leader of Vale council has said he will refuse to “kowtow to those who shout the loudest” and will not be rushed into deciding on controversial proposals such as parking charges.

Cllr Neil Moore, who is leading a new Labour-led administration, says it is likely key decisions onproposed parking charges and the ‘closure’ of Llancarfan Primary School will not be made until later this year. He has also cast doubt on the future of the proposed Dinas Powys bypass, and say he believes the Barry Incinerator will be required to draw up an environmental impact assessment – which campaigners have been calling for.

Cllr Moore and the council’s new deputy leader Lis Burnett gained control of the authority in May.

Their priorities include balancing the council’s budget and preserving vital services for the most vulnerable in the face of a need to make £14 million of savings over the next two years, as well as regeneration and building more homes, and improving school buildings.

Cllr Moore said: “We’re going to be open and transparent and be prepared to work with people. If there are issues we will try to work through those issues.

“Sometimes we will have to make decisions that not everyone is going to be happy with.

“We have to be honest with people. We have to say these are the facts and whether we like it or not we will have to do some things differently or not at all.”

Cllr Burnett added. “But we have to be honest about the levels of pressure on local government.

“Our priority has to be services to the most vulnerable.”

The Labour-led coalition includes members of the former Conservative cabinet, which quit the party when former leader John Thomas was deposed as leader of the Vale Tories. The coalition also includes Llantwit First Independents.

This is where the new leadership stands on the key issues facing the Vale:

Parking charges

Cllr Moore said new parking charges proposed by the previous administration, which included town centre car parks, coastal resorts and country parks, will be reviewed.

He said new parking charges are likely in the Vale, but they will be “realistic”.

Cllr Moore said: “We have to be sensible. Some of the things put forward previously were off the wall, they went too far.

“It will be a full revamp of everything. Whatever we do we’re not going to fleece the residents of the Vale.

“We may have to make some changes. It does cost money to provide car parking. There are things we will have to start charging for. It will be realistic and fair for everybody.”

School improvements

The new cabinet says delivering on major new school buildings is a priority for the new administration.

Developments in the pipeline include new builds for Pencoedtre and Whitmore High Schools, and expansion and refurbishment of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg

Ageing schools in the Vale are set to get a £1.6 million cash boost for repairs.

Llancarfan Primary School

Llancarfan Primary School was set to be ‘closed’and moved to a new £4 million facility in Rhoose.

The previous cabinet had approved the plans despite protests from parents and campaigners.

Cllr Moore said Llancarfan School move was “premature” - but did not commit to scrapping the plan entirely.

“If it’s justifiable it’s justifiable,” he said. “If it’s not, we will look at alternatives.

“It’s not an easy decision to take. It’s something we have to take some time about.

“What I’m not going to do is jump or kowtow to people who shout the loudest.”

Cllr Burnett has previously tweeted the closure of Llancarfan “wouldn’t be happening” if Labour were running the council.

New roads

Work continues on outline business cases for two major new roads being proposed – the A48 to M4 link around Pendoylan and Dinas Powys Bypass between Barry and Cardiff – but no decision has been made whether either will actually go ahead.

The future of both roads rests on whether Welsh Government and the council deem them viable, and whether ministers cough up the cash to fund them.

But Cllr Moore said he doesn’t think Welsh Government will find the money required for the Dinas Powys Bypass.

“It’s out of our hands,” he said.


Cllr Moore said he believes Welsh Government will order the Barry Biomass incinerator to carry out an environmental impact assessment.

Cllr Moore, who has previously attacked what he termed “scaremongering and lies” around the biomass plant, said he did not want the facility in Barry Docks.

He said: “We opposed it vehemently, both as a council and as a party and personally. It shouldn’t be there.

“But now it is there it has to operate within legal parameters.

“If it does, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

The council refused the original planning permission for the facility, but a planning inspector allowed it in 2010 following an appeal.