Plans for ‘Greater Cardiff’ hyper-region revealed
Plans to create a new city region called Greater Cardiff, which would subsume Pontypridd, Newport and even a significant part of the county borough of Bridgend have been drawn up, Nation.Cymru can exclusively reveal.
The proposed “hyper-region hub” is modelled on the so-called motor regions of Europe such as Lombardy and Baden Württemburg.
Greater Cardiff would stretch as far as the Severn Bridge to the east and include the southern parts of the Rhondda valleys as well as towns such as Pontypridd and also Maesteg on its north western edge.
It would include approximately half the population of Wales within its borders, in effect creating a single unitary authority.
The new hyper-region, which is expected to come into being on 1 April 2024, will be governed by an elected mayor with similar powers to Sadiq Khan in London or Andy Burnham in Manchester.
The consultants who have drawn up the plans claim it will create savings across the board from services such as refuse collection, however it has been estimated the cost of changing road signs alone could soar to £ 1.4 million per month.
Trade bodies in Newport had recently warned about the dangers of the city being swallowed up by a similar redrawing of the map to create the so-called Severnside Conurbation.
They warn these latest plans would lead to local identity being erased and the recent flow of inward investment in new technologies such as microprocessing being reversed.
Charles Smith from the Newport Business Association said: ‘This has all the half baked thinking that saw them redraw the Welsh rugby regions – but it’s much more dangerous. Look what happened to Neath.’
Mr Smith added: ‘Cardiff already has too much clout. People in Newport are proud to live in the ‘Port and many of them would rather move to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia than suffer the indignity of living in a Cardiff post code area.
This isn’t just a matter of local pride. It’s about a deep, deep allegiance to a local identity. It seems that some Welsh politicians, backed up by a poorly argued report from a think tank, are happy to ride roughshod over the past, present and even the future of Newport.’
People on the streets of Pontypridd expressed very strong opinions about the formation of the new hyper-region.
Trainee butcher Darren Winters, 23, from Cilfynydd said: ‘I’m happy to have a strong capital but this is like creating a city state. Think of what happened to the Borgias in Italy.’
Hairdresser Myfanwy Davies, 22, from Rhydfelen said: "It’s been Cardiff this and Cardiff that for years but this really takes the biscuit, the biscuit tin and even the bloody biscuit factory. It’s a land grab, that’s what it is."
The deputy mayor of Pontypridd, Ron Chambers also condemned the push to create Greater Cardiff: ‘Enough is enough. This time they’ve gone too far. I’ve lived in this town too long to see it swallowed up by Cardiff.
"In my day small was beautiful but now it seems it’s all about the numbers, about how many people live in a place, how few buses you can put on to help them move around!
"This is governing by decree not by consent."
We approached the Welsh Government for a comment but they declined, saying they couldn’t comment on leaks today.
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The far funnier joke is that the only time Wales comes up with even a semi-valid strategy to compete with English cities and regions, it is an April fools joke.
Speaking from Newport, I would like to state that I will fight this until the last drop of black-and-amber blood drains from my cold, dead body. Remember the Chartists! They didn’t bother marching on Cardiff because Newport is much more important! (Rant continues on page 94)
The page 94 reference shows he knows it’s a joke. If you know Private Eye you’d get it
This proposal feels like it is being rushed through. Where’s the evidence that it will make the region more prosperous? Where’s the public consultation? We the public need to be part of the process and consulted, not just have it thrust upon us with no say.
Hook line and sinker!
01/04, ho ho ho. Yet it’s probably a full on recurring Kairdiff centric, Bay Bubble wet dream. Just make sure it never becomes a reality.
Every nation needs a capital, and all the essential Mechanisms that come along with it. Centralised Governance is vital and the First step to any prosperous nation. If this was ever to become a serious proposition however, I’d expect Everyone in The area of Southern Wales would go against this, except for the People of Cardiff ofcourse.
It maybe a joke but actually it makes a lot of sense, do we really need 22 unitary authorities in Wales with 22 chief executives etc.
Merthyr has a population of just 55,000.
Although this story is an obvious April Fools joke, the idea of creating a Greater Cardiff isn’t fanciful seeing London enveloped surrounding towns & villages on its way to becoming a metropolis. We in Wales, especially our Senedd Cymru , has to start thinking big rather than small. A litmus test of any capital city is how it celebrates the New Year. Cardiff doesn’t. All we see is Edinburgh & London where Cardiff opts to waving its solitary sparkler. Our capital was once a financial center where the first million pound cheque was signed. Thinking small will get us nowhere.… Read more »
I’m against it, however you make some valid points.
However it is not relevant to put down another city, Go Wales 🏴 🙂
“A litmus test of any capital city is how it celebrates the New Year.”
Nice one!😉Do you think Darren from Cilfynnydd had Russel Goodway in mind when talking about the Borgias?🤣🤣
Many a dastardly plan hatched in jest, eg brexit…
What the heeelll ohh my gaaawwddd no wayyayyyaayyyyy
I’ve said this for years, they want to emulate the South East of England in the South East of Wales. Don’t let tgem do it, Cardiff is already grabbing too much as if they have the right. It will leave the rest of Wales impoverished.
Im sure this is an april fool joke…😆🤣 but well written 😆
“Trainee butcher Darren Winters, 23, from Cilfynydd said – ‘I’m happy to have a strong capital but this is like creating a city state. Think of what happened to the Borgias in Italy.”
A trainee butcher quoting the Borgias was the April fools give-away.
I wish to volunteer to become the first Mayor of this new Utopia.I would settle for a salary of one million pounds and a season ticket for Cardiff Citybut must be allowed to retain my old age pension as I am 87 years old.