Neston to become part of Wales?
|Published: 1st April 2009 00:00|
The transfer of control from Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council to Cheshire West and Chester Council was today thrown into doubt by a section of local residents who have petitioned both Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, demanding a controversial change to the local political map.
The several-thousand signature strong petition, presented by local activist group W.A.N.T. (Welsh Annexation of Neston Today) claims to be representative of the entire town and is clamouring for a border-change that would see Neston come under control of the Welsh Assembly – effectively becoming a Welsh Town.
In an interview yesterday, ‘WANT’ figurehead, local resident Margaret Hillman, declared that “The suggestion might ruffle the feathers of a few die-hard Nestonians but the proposal makes complete sense when you think about it.
“For years locals have been bemoaning an abuse of funds and lack of attention from EPNBC and this is the perfect time to intercede – before we end up in the same boat with CWAC.
“The practical and financial benefits of Welsh annexation are many – Free Prescriptions, Free Hospital Parking, Reduced Higher Education Tuition Fees and so on – plus taking the opportunity to break free of the yoke of local English Councils."
Bizarre as it may seem, the proposal for the switch to Welsh contol is not without precedent. WANT’s crusade was inspired by the residents of Piacenza, Italy, who only last year successfully campaigned to switch allegiance from the region of Emilia-Romagna to Lombardy.
WANT consulted with the Deputy Regional Administrator of Milan, Olaf Pirlo (cousin of World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo, who many residents may recognise as an influential member of the AC Milan team that defeated Liverpool FC in the 2007 Champions League Final) who advised the group on how to draft a formal proposal to submit to government.
Olaf Pirlo, with Cousin Andrea at the recent Milan derby.
Copies of the official document were delivered similtaneously via courier this morning to both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the First Minister of Wales the Rt. Hon. Rhodri Morgan.
“The very least we hope to achieve is a referendum on the issue” said Ms. Hillman today. “We are confident that the people of Neston will support the motion and look forward to a prosperous future sharing the Celtic Heritage and Traditions of Wales.”
Despite initial opposition the city of Piacenza has thrived under the administrative and cultural influence of Milan’s administration and WANT’s supporters wish to emulate the success story in Neston.
Neston residents are invited to post their views on this controversial proposal below.