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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Villagers celebrate reunion
St Dogmaels was reunited on 1 April
St Dogmaels was reunited on 1 April
A west Wales village divided between two councils for 170 years has at last been unified.

Around 330 St Dogmaels residents who were living in Ceredigion on Monday are now part of Pembrokeshire after the county boundary was moved at midnight on Tuesday morning.

The whole village is marking the historic change by holding a series of events, including the unveiling of a new village sign and a bonfire and fireworks night.

Control over the village of 1,000 residents has been split between the two counties since 1832, but the change came after a ruling by the Boundary Commission.

The whole community will be celebrating today and we will have the biggest bonfire that Ceredigion has ever seen,
Ian Gollop, St Dogmaels council

St Dogmaels community council leader, Ian Gollop has been in the vanguard of the four year campaign to unify the village.

He said the campaign started with a 70-name petition from the residents of Longdown Bank who wanted to be controlled by Pembrokeshire council.

The community council then formed a sub-committee, chaired by Mr Gollop, which lobbied the Boundary Commission.

This led to a referendum with more than 90% of the population backing the change.

St Dogmaels' new village sign
St Dogmaels is now entirely within Pembrokeshire
"The whole community will be celebrating today and we will have the biggest bonfire that Ceredigion has ever seen," said Mr Gollop.

One advantage for the new residents of Pembrokeshire is they will pay less council tax.

A band D property owner will pay 528 compared with 698 if they were still part of Ceredigion.

"Another advantage in joining Pembrokeshire is that we will have free bin bags to put our rubbish in," said Mr Gollop.

Festivities on 1 April included the unveiling of a new village sign by the chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Leslie Raymond, who also officially welcomed those in the community transferring from Ceredigion to Pembrokeshire.

Residents of St Dogmaels celebrate village unification
Residents of St Dogmaels celebrate village unification
Pembrokeshire councillor for St Dogmaels, Steve Watkins, said having one village being controlled by two local authorities had been confusing.

He added that there were stories of road sweepers and hedge cutters missing out parts of the village because they were unsure which county they were in.

Pembrokeshire Council's leader, Maurice Hughes said he was delighted to welcome the new residents.

"We are obviously pleased the Boundary Commission came to the conclusions it did but we always maintained we would be guided by the views of the people living in the two communities."

Other celebrations include a party for 130 children at the local memorial hall and a cheese and wine evening.




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