My personal view is that any merger with Gwynedd (and now I am hearing that Conwy may also be in the mix too) would be disastrous financially for Ynys Môn for the following reasons:
- Gwynedd Council currently has to find savings over the next few years of approx. £28.8 million, compared to 'just' £10 million at Ynys Môn (Conwy must find £21.9 million). A fully merged council would see these cuts shared between both councils. We have already seen something similar with the amalgamation of Local Health Boards across North Wales to create the Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board. This led to the red ink at Glanclwyd and Maelor hospitals being shared throughout the region thus causing cuts at previously fiscally well managed Ysbyty Gwynedd.
- Average Council Tax is much higher in Gwynedd than Ynys Môn and a harmonisation of rates would undoubtedly result in a large rise in Anglesey (Average Band D council rates in Ynys Môn are £825.30 compared to £960.79 in Gwynedd -- a difference of £135).
- Anglesey County Council has the second largest estate of small holdings in Wales. These are valuable assets which a cash strapped Gwynedd would seek to disperse in order to reduce their own financial problems.
- Gwynedd Council has 75 councillors compared to just 40 in Ynys Môn. This imbalance would ensure that the merged council would operate in the best interests of Gwynedd not Ynys Môn.
- Gwynedd Council is dominated by Plaid Cymru (36 Plaid Cymru members out of 75 councillors) meaning a merger would lead to Plaid Cymru dominating both councils (in Ynys Ynys Môn there are currently only 8 Plaid Cymru members out of 40). As Plaid Cymru are completely opposed to nuclear energy a potential merger would not be a helpful development at this crucial stage in Horizon's decision making process regarding Wylfa B.