Not surprised by scare stories

I AM really not surprised that there is some concern about the proposed swallowing up of the Vale of Glamorgan by Cardiff Council.

These are not scare stories but just highlighting what may happen if we were to become part of 'Greater Cardiff', the fact is that it is likely that all the resources will be focused on the capital at our expense. Does anyone remember the old South Glamorgan Council?

As an elected member I am really concerned about future service delivery and the anticipated job losses which is projected to be around 15,000 across Wales. We are also being hoodwinked into these proposals without knowing the true costs or the real savings that would be made by these mergers.

I say it would be far better for us to join up with Bridgend - we have far more in common with them than Cardiff. We already have collaborative arrangements in place with them, they are similar in demographics, they attract regeneration monies, similar amount of council members, and a rural and urban make-up.

Do we really want to see us being the poor little partner to Cardiff? And everything going to Cardiff at our expense? Do we really want to see a democratic deficit by being outnumbered and outvoted by our Cardiff colleagues? A little reminder of the South Glamorgan days is that the Vale had around 75 per cent of the road network yet only received about 25 per cent of the funding.

We need balance to have a full debate before any merger takes place and on the potential arising from a merger with Bridgend, particularly how they benefit from regeneration monies which would certainly benefit our poorer areas.

It is worth reminding those who advocate a Cardiff merger that they have received a lot of funding in the past because they are a capital city and that funding is no longer available so we would not benefit from it. We also just have to think just how long they have taken to redevelop Cardiff Central Station the gateway to the City.

For me the best option for us is Bridgend.

Richard Bertin

Barry Independent Councillor

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