A review of Cardiff’s electoral wards has come under fire from both the East and West of the city.
In March, retiring AM Rhodri Morgan called the plans “diabolical” and now defeated Cardiff North MP, Julie Morgan, said they made no sense.
The plans propose the merger of Llanrumney and Rumney to form one ward, called Llanrumney and lose a councillor, and the rolling into one of Llandaff and Llandaff North.
Smaller wards such as Radyr and St Fagans would be rolled into one big Cardiff West ward, with Fairwater bolted on.
Derrick Morgan, councillor for Llanrumney, in a letter to the Boundary Commission said: “Having served the Community of Llanrumney for a total in excess of 15 years we feel that we know and recognise the problems that our Ward presents.
“We do feel that the Community Area reflects well the present pattern of Community life ,provides a good democratic balance together with an electoral arrangement which contributes to there being effective and convenient local government.
“We do not feel that the best interests of our residents would be well served by the effective loss of one Councillor in our ward.”
Coun Morgan also took issue with the naming of the ward.
He said: “The naming of the proposed electoral division ‘ Llanrumney’ would be a highly contentious one. Both communities are proud of their heritage and would , we feel , object totally to any proposed change.”
Over in the West of the city, Llandaff councillors Kirsty Davies and Gareth Aubrey have stated their concerns.
Coun Davies said: “This is an ill-conceived scheme put together purely in terms of solving a mathematical problem, it does not take into account the unique needs of each of these very different communities.”
Local residents and organisations in Llandaff are also unhappy with the plans.
Geoffrey Barton Greenwood, Chair of the Llandaff Society said: “There is no geographical link between the two areas, which are divided by the river. The two communities have grown independently of each other for over a hundred years. The City of Llandaff has over a thousand years of history behind it which is deserving of its own representation.”
Edgar Gibbs, Chair of Danescourt Community Association, spoke on behalf of his residents: “Realigning the boundaries as proposed, would link two communities that are different demographically and in transport terms have only one link, that being the river bridge. The communities are currently and effectively separated in the main by the river Taff, and to a lesser extent by the railway. There do not appear to be any community based reasons for this proposal.”
The draft report invited responses until June 9th, and there now follows another nine-week period for people to make representations, six weeks for comments before the final report is presented to Local Government Minister Carl Sergeant.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below