‘Porthcawl has nothing in common with Merthyr’ – a councillor’s letter

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

By GEM Community Correspondent

in Local People

Further to last week’s global media attention surrounding Porthcawl’s benches on the seafront, I think that it would be fair to say that Delia Smith knows more about quantum physics than BCBC does about tourism.

Unfortunately for us, this has become something of the norm in Porthcawl over the past 40-odd years and you have to wonder how we’ve managed to survive for so long.

I won’t elaborate any further on the disastrous decisions made against us during that time as we’d fill up every page on this newspaper.

Prior to 1974, things were a lot simpler, as each community had its own council which determined its own expenditure and priorities by the people who actually lived within it; but that all changed after the formation of counties and districts that eventually became unitary authorities in 1996.

The principle idea of this was to streamline services and make everything more cost efficient but it all went a bit haywire and we’ve ended up with a sprawling behemoth, crammed to the rafters with senior executives and corporate directors, all of whom live outside of the borough and draw salaries in excess of £75k.

Apparently, we’ve got a regeneration officer lurking in there somewhere too, affectionately known to us here in Porthcawl as ‘Lucan’ because we’ve only had reports of a possible sighting back in 2012.

Quite simply it’s unsustainable and, with services being cut all over the place, it’s finally dawned on the Welsh Assembly Government that changes are needed.

Enter then the Minister of Public Services, Leighton Andrews, who promptly proceeded to lose the plot and decide that it was a good idea to lump us all in with Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.

Erm… what’s Porthcawl, or Bridgend for that matter, got in common with Merthyr Tydfil?

Bridgend occupies a top six place in Wales for council tax charges, with RCT even higher and Merthyr even higher still, so be prepared for those sharp twinges in your wallets or purses to get even sharper if they get the green light after the assembly elections next month.

We’ve had more than our fair share of Weetabix choking moments when Jeff Jones was council leader thank you very much and don’t want to be waking up one morning to draw the curtains and suddenly realise that we’re being governed by Merthyr Tydfil… so I’ll be voting to send those who support this nightmare in the making packing, even if you happen to be Wales’ First Minister.

Coun Sean Aspey.

(Coun Aspey represents a Porthcawl ward on BCBC, and sits as an independent.)

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