Plaid group slam boundary shake-up as attack on Valleys

20/08/2012

 

Coun Colin Mann

The Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly County Borough Council  have accused the Boundary Commission for Wales of “victimising” Valley local authorities in changes it has proposed.

They have submitted a highly critical  five-page submission which criticises proposals which, if approved, would cut the number of councillors by around 25 per cent from 73 existing members.

The 20-strong Plaid group, under leader Colin Mann, said in its submission: “We strongly feel that the proposals as outlined represent a real attack on democracy in our area and it could be argued that the authorities described as ‘Valley councils’ are being victimised by these proposals.

“It seems that some of the most deprived communities in Wales have been targeted to have less representation than more affluent ones.  We would draw your attention to the fact that less well off areas usually have a larger array of complex problems which bring extra challenges to the councillors who represent these areas, yet representation is being taken away.”

The group added: “Caerphilly County Borough is facing a huge reduction in representation of around 25% whilst Bridgend apparently merits a small increase and Neath Port Talbot a very small decrease. Under this deeply flawed train of thought Bridgend with roughly two-thirds of the population of Caerffili CBC allegedly merits one more councillor – how can this be right? What is the logic in this?

“Four out of five other councils, with far less population, appear to merit more councillors, with the Vale of Glamorgan almost as many.  How can this be right?

“This exercise should be about the ability to represent people properly – councillors are elected to represent people.  It should not be an academic exercise of making things fit into particular straitjackets,” added the Plaid group