HC Deb 27 June 1994 vol 245 c541
6. Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations in favour of his proposals to remove Ewenny, Saint Bride's Major and Wick from Bridgend into the Vale of Glamorgan he has received from people or organisations with these communities; and how many he has received against.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Gwilym Jones)

Since the publication of the White Paper, five in favour and 185 against.

Mr. Griffiths

Will the Minister refer to my question again? I believe that the five representations in favour were all from organisations outside those three communities. May I inform him of the deep bitterness felt by all voters—especially Conservative supporters, members and elected councillors—about the way in which the Welsh Office has completely ignored the weight of opinion resulting from the consultative process, and the way in which it has slapped democracy in the face?

Mr. Jones

No. I gave the answer strictly in terms of the hon. Gentleman's question. If I had wanted to expand it, I could have said that the number in favour had increased almost threefold, taking into account those outside the three communities, who recognise the affinities in the three communities and want them to be part of the wider Vale of Glamorgan. I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman is only going through the motions. If he had wanted to do more than that, he would have pressed his amendment on the subject to a vote on 15 June.

Mr. Sweeney

Does my hon. Friend agree that, in 11 of the past 12 years, electors in the Vale of Glamorgan have enjoyed lower local government taxation than their counterparts in Ogwr and that there is widespread support in the Vale for the Government's proposals? Will my hon. Friend join me in urging the hon. Member for Bridgend to acknowledge that the Local Government (Wales) Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons and that it is high time that he adopted a positive attitude by urging the merits of the Bill on those of his constituents who will benefit from moving into the Vale of Glamorgan?

Mr. Jones

My hon. Friend makes his points very well. Vale of Glamorgan borough council has a record of providing better services at lower cost. We have approached the question on the basis of where the areas would be more appropriate. They are more rural in character and they will have a far better future in the Vale of Glamorgan.