HC Deb 25 April 1994 vol 242 c8
6. Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received from people and organisations in the communities of Ewenny, Saint Bride's Major and Wick in favour of his proposals to put them in the proposed Vale of Glamorgan unitary authority.

Mr. Gwilym Jones

Five since the White Paper, besides representations from the Vale defence committee.

Mr. Griffiths

Does the Minister accept that the fact that there were five responses in favour as compared with more than 100 against, and that 75 per cent. of the residents of the three communities responded to an electoral ballot in which about 85 per cent. said that they wanted to stay with Bridgend, should be enough to persuade the Government to accept the premise of their own White Paper about taking local wishes into account? Does the Minister therefore accept that the three communities of Ewenny, Saint Bride's Major and Wick should be allowed, even at this late stage, to have their overwhelming demands to stay with the Bridgend unitary authority met?

Mr. Jones

I would also mention that we have had substantial representations from the Vale of Glamorgan borough council, Colwinston community council, Llandough community council and Penllyn—essentially, the other members of the family, who are looking forward to being joined by those three communities. The communities will not lose any facilities and I believe will feel at home in a more sympathetic authority that is much more in tune with rural communities.

Mr. Sweeney

Does my hon. Friend acknowledge that there is considerable support for the Government's proposals in the Vale of Glamorgan and that the Vale of Glamorgan will warmly welcome those three communities? In the light of the comparative records of the different unitary authorities, it is likely that those three communities will benefit from significantly lower council tax charges under a Vale unitary authority.

Mr. Jones

My hon. Friend is right about the warm response for those three communities from the Vale of Glamorgan. He is probably also absolutely right when he says that, in future, the residents of those communities will enjoy a lower council tax.