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Posts Tagged ‘Vale of Glamorgan’

I bumped into the Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, Alun Cairns earlier,  who had come fresh from a meeting with the Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

You may remember that when the £14bn plan for a defence training academy at the former RAF St Athan site in the Vale of Glamorgan was scrapped back in October , supporters of the UK Government said there was still a chance that it would be used as a base for training in the future.

The news from Alun Cairns after his meeting with Liam Fox is that although a decision has yet to be made, the plan to site training at a handful of locations around the UK is still very much alive and that St. Athan is still in contention to be one of those sites.

It’s not clear when any such announcement is likely to be made but you can make an educated guess. When it comes to big UK decisions affecting Wales, such as rail electrification and defence training, sources close to the Westminster Government talk about a ‘purdah period’ (which is essentially the Assembly election campaign) during which there won’t be any official announcements from London that might influence the vote in Wales one way or another.

For our purposes that means before the end of March and after May the fifth.

It’s my best guess that an electrification announcement will come before the end of March and defence training will be after May 5th.

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Three people living on the outskirts of Cardiff are about to be moved by the authorities, but they’re not being evicted and won’t have to leave their houses.

The Boundary Commission for Wales is recommending that the three electors be transferred from the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency to the Vale of Glamorgan.

Meanwhile, as part of the same exercise, the Commission reckons another 46 voters should be transferred from Cardiff South and Penarth to Cardiff North.

And it says 733 people should be moved from Ogmore to Pontypridd while 96 should be switched from Pontypridd to Ogmore.

The MP for Ogmore, Labour’s Huw Irranca-Davies told me the game of musical chairs seems a waste of time.

‘Some poor blighter has been slaving away at this review for two years when it won’t mean two hoots because the constituencies are all going to be changed again in a couple of years,’ he said.

He’s on about the UK Government’s plan to cut the number of MPs with the Parliamentary voting system and constituencies bill (that’s also the one that will bring in the AV referendum) requiring the  Boundary Commission to make all constituencies more or less equal. And that’s expected to mean around ten fewer Welsh constituencies.

Which begs the question, why is the Commission bothering switching small numbers of people from one constituency to the other?

Well it’s not really about the parliamentary boundaries. The person I spoke to at the Commission earlier acknowledged that they’ll almost certainly be changed again very shortly.

The real aim he said was to tidy up the constituencies to match local government areas for Assembly elections.  And the reality is that, as a result of the changes I mentioned earlier, they’ll be different to parliamentary constituencies anyway from the next General Election onwards.

I hope that’s clear.

 

 

 

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