Ward Councillor Jonathan Bird Resigns
WARD COUNCILLOR – Cllr Jonathan Bird
As you may have seen in the press lately, I have decided to resign from the Conservative Group in the Council and therefore resign as cabinet member for Regeneration and Planning. I am not a person to court the press, I believe on getting down to work and get the job done, I feel that I do owe you all an explanation of what is currently happening in the Vale Council.
Some of my reasons for this action are the following;
Roads in the Vale of Glamorgan,
The new leader of the Conservatives wants to drop the work to provide a new road from Sycamore Cross to Junction 34 in favour of putting a Dinas Powys bypass in, I firmly believe that we need a new road to the M4 as the roads around the Vale and especially Wenvoe are approaching gridlock and without the new J34 road we will grind to a halt. We already see higher numbers of cars and lorries using the lanes and roads as rat runs and this will get worse as time goes on. I don’t believe that the bypass of Dinas Powys will give a significant benefit to Wenvoe or the whole of the Vale; just some minor local benefit and therefore not value for money.
Schooling in the Vale of Glamorgan,
Again the new leader of the Conservatives would reverse the decision to close Llancarfan school. My view is that as an old dilapidated school with very small numbers of children coming from the catchment (one this year) it is unfit for purpose and on a very small site not allowing improvements to the standards that are expected today for children’s education. Also with 70% or more of the children travelling from Rhoose daily, and a need for more places in Rhoose due to a huge amount of new housing, is it right to make these children travel or build a new school with all the facilities now expected within walking distance of their homes? Additionally, the money for a new school in Rhoose is available through a levy (section 106) taken from the builders in Rhoose and all in place, as is the land. The school in Llancarfan could not run if the children from Rhoose were to attend a local school due to financial reasons ie class sizes would be too small or have multiple years thus causing a huge deficit budget, therefore having an effect on the wider education budget affecting all children in the Vale. I could go on and on with reasons, I do hope you understand my stance on this.
The new leader of the Conservatives would not have rises in council tax. I hear you all say great, but he has no plan as to how he would pay for the services you all require. Currently the council has had to shave £60m off its budget over the last 10 years with another £6m needed to be saved for the next two years. My concern is that his idea of no council tax increase would lead to huge losses of services with very low levels of service. You are all aware that services are stretched to the limit now so further loss of funding will cause serious failure in many areas including Waste, Social Services and Education.
I firmly believe that we should ensure that we as a Council should ensure that all people, especially the young and vulnerable, receive decent levels of service and care. All this costs money and cuts will put people and services at risk.
I trust that you will understand my reason for leaving the Conservative group and I will ensure that I do all I can to make sure that the ward of Wenvoe continues to thrive. I will fight hard to ensure we get all the services and amenities we all deserve.
I have enjoyed my two years serving on the cabinet and I believe that I have done my best for the residents of Wenvoe and the whole Vale of Glamorgan in a very difficult financial time, as I have always done for the last 11 years while being your Councillor.
Thank you for your support and if you wish to contact me to discuss the issues above or any other problems you may have please do so. JBird@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk 07917142523.