This follows concerns which have been expressed relating to:-
The boundary of any proposed City
The cost attached to preparing an application and the changes which would be needed if Llanelli were to become a City
The lack of consultation to date with our residents
As per the article titled ‘People react to Llanelli’s hilarious city status bid by saying it’s ‘barely a town’ which was published by Wales Online on the 18th January, as we feared this is now becoming yet another divisive issue for the Town.
Again, our concerns fall into three categories: boundaries, consultation and costs.
Firstly, there has been no suggestion as to which areas of the existing constituency would form part of the new City with no clear boundary identified. Would it be communities within the Town Council area alone? Would some or all of the communities within the Rural Council be included? Would the boundaries need to extend even further in order to meet the requirements of a City? What would be the cost attached to answer these questions?
We have looked at case studies elsewhere which have shown that Towns are known to have paid between £8 – £30,000 on preparing their applications to become a City with no guarantee of success. Should we also become a City who would foot the bill? Would taxes go up? Who pays for the rebranding of street signs for example? If our taxpayers are expected to cover any of this cost, then they really ought to be consulted.
Also, the public must be made aware on the actual benefits of ‘City Status’ when being consulted. We need to see evidence to support the claims that becoming a City will draw more investment into Llanelli. If no such evidence can be shown, why should this be a priority for the town?
We feel our residents must have their say as to whether ‘City Status’ is genuinely a priority to them right now given the current cost of living crisis. Some Towns have stated the process of changing to a City is entirely that of status and would have little to no impact on the economic prosperity of an existing Town. There are some Towns who after consulting with their residents found that the majority were against such a move and then ended up withdrawing their bids.
We call on the leader of the Town Council and President of the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Councillor Darkin to outline in full now a timescale for public consultation to take place and the publishing of all of the costs involved.
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