LOCAL government reorganisation seems to have captured the interest of the two main political parties, I wonder why?
Have you signed the Conservative’s petition to Save the Vale, (does that include urban areas I wonder) or helped Labour councillors to lobby and influence their friends running the Welsh Government?
The overwhelming view of public statements by councillors is to leave us alone, we’re doing a great job. Even the leader of the opposition claims Vale of Glamorgan provides excellent services that are envied by others.
47 Vale of Glamorgan councillors cost us about £1m annually.
I calculate a merger with Bridgend would mean 36 seats for Vale of Glamorgan councillors and, based on average payments, that would cost about £780k. However, a Cardiff merger is likely to involve only 20 seats at a cost of about £435k annually, a saving of around 56 per cent on councillor payments.
Just compare us with Scotland, or even Birmingham - we are over-represented and it costs a lot of money. Option 3 in the William’s report (10 local authorities for Wales) would reduce the number of councillors by 506 and using the same average payment that equates to a saving of more than £11m every year.
The Welsh Government must keep their eyes firmly fixed on the big picture and not submit to the interests of the two main political parties at Vale of Glamorgan.
We desperately need fresh ideas and success from elected representatives and keeping the status quo would be to miss yet another opportunity to affect change.