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  • "At least with the smaller councils they actually represented their communities. All that was lost with mergers into ever larger faceless entities."
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What a mess

First published in Letters

HAVEN’T the Welsh Assembly and Carwyn Jones got anything better to do than to propose yet another upheaval by inflicting yet another reorganisation of local government on the people?

Councils were formed during the late 1800s and served right through up until 1974. It was councils like Bedwas and Machen UDC, Caerphilly UDC, Gelligaer, Cardiff City and other authorities that pioneered hospital services, the chiropody service, local health centres, water boards, gas boards, and electricity boards.

Bedwas & Machen Urban District Council prior to the 1974 reorganisation was the smallest authority in Great Britain. It had a fleet of buses of just five; and it was one of only three bus companies that made a profit. The fleet was brand new and fully paid for. They didn’t raise their fares for 10 years. You could set your watch by the punctuality of the service. They built 7,000 council houses, with practically no tenants in arrears. We were told we had to have a change. Bedwas, Gelligaer, Bargoed were all merged into one authority in a reorganisation that cost the country billions of pounds. It achieved nothing; in fact the larger authorities proved much less efficient than what they replaced.

In the early 90s, when things seemed to be settling down, yet another local government reorganisation was imposed. That reorganisation is now beginning work well; and here we come again with yet another local government reorganisation, estimated to cost £200 million at a time when we are closing A & E departments and cutting local services. What a mess!

Ray Davies Pandy Road Caerphilly

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