Council Leader responds to the Draft Local Government (Wales) Bill
24 November 2015
In response to the publication of draft legislation designed to reorganise local government in Wales the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council has made the following comment.
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “My position as Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council on local government reform has not changed. A merger of the Vale of Glamorgan Council with Cardiff was untenable in June and is even more so today.
"There can be no rationale for merging the highest performing local authority in Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, with Cardiff. Such a move would without doubt negatively impact on our excellent track record of high performance and prudent financial management. The Vale of Glamorgan is a very different place to Cardiff, both geographically and culturally and has very different needs to that of the capital city.
“The proposed reorganisation of local government in Wales has been a mess of confusion and contradiction from the start. In February of this year we were told that our proposal of a voluntary merger of the Vale of Glamorgan with Bridgend County Borough Council would not be considered because it crossed health boundaries. Then bizarrely in June the draft map showed a proposed merger doing just that by merging Bridgend, Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf councils.
“Despite the high up-front costs and the disruption it would cause to the delivery of local services, it is still claimed that the reorganisation of local government will save money. I refute that, particularly as the proposed reorganisation will not take effect until 2020 at the earliest.
“There has been no meaningful discussion with Council Leaders about the best way to reform the sector. Instead we see yet another announcement from the Minister designed purely to distract from the unprecedented budgetary and other significant challenges that local authorities in Wales currently face.
“I continue to urge Welsh Government to abandon this flawed plan and have a real and meaningful conversation with those who understand local government and who work within it for the benefit of local citizens."