I NOTE the comments made by my Independent colleague Phil Clarke (Rhoose) and would like to make it clear that I do not support his views regarding merging the Vale with Cardiff Council.

I cannot agree with his views as a merger with Cardiff would be a takeover and evidence has shown in the past that on roads under South Glamorgan we had 75 per cent of the road network and only 25 per cent of the funding which is just one piece of evidence to support this.

The current situation certainly is unsustainable as he says but I believe it would be more beneficial to join with Bridgend rather than Cardiff.

The merger report does not actually state how much these mergers would costs or give an actual figure of how much would be saved. You cannot force mergers through without having the adequate information such as this.

It was a real surprise to me that Cllr Clarke did not vote with the majority against a merger with Cardiff on a recent motion to Full Council. He was a lone voice out of those present which surprised me when the Vale is a better performing council than Cardiff which is recorded by the Welsh Local Government Association.

Additionally, I feel that we should now have a public referendum on this matter and let the public have a say before any mergers take place. It is only right and proper that the public should have a say on this important matter.

This matter should not be rushed through as full and careful consideration must take place before anything should happen

We must also bear in mind that we have 150,000 employees in Welsh local government and we must consider them as well as they will be implicated in any mergers that take place. We also cannot be in a position where we are being asked to sign up to something which just suits the Labour Party because you only have to look at just how bad things have been run by them and this would be a total disaster for Wales.

Cllr Clarke also muted the idea of the same number of bins to collect and the same number of children to educate, well he must also realise that this will also be a rationalisation programme with less staff expected to do more for less. We will also see thousands more homes built in Barry and the Vale as there would be a bigger area for Cardiff to play with and you cannot tell me that those homes will not be placed here in the Vale?

Yes, the Council Tax increase was high here in the Vale but that is because we are not getting our fair share of funding from the Labour-led Welsh Government and agree this was wrong but we all should be lobbying for a fair share per head.

It is a struggle but if we merge with Cardiff Council it would be a disaster for us in the Vale and we would be sorry in years to come.

Richard Bertin

Independent Councillor

Vale of Glamorgan Council