Town should bid for village status

Machynlleth has called time on its hopes of becoming Wales' newest city

A RURAL Welsh town has dropped its ambitions of becoming a city after realising it isn’t much bigger than a village.

Machynlleth, which is actually in Montgomeryshire even though everyone thinks its somewhere far more Welsh, had made two previous bids to become a city.

But following rejections for city status to mark the Millennium and in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, local councillors in the tiny town, that has a population of just 2,000, have finally realised they were on a hiding to nothing.

Town councillor Michael Williams admitted: “While the town council realised the importance of what being a city meant, together with the status, it felt that on this occasion it should just accept the inevitable without going to the expense of filling in all the forms and wasting everybody’s time.

“The town council has also been fund raising for the town clock, which is much-loved by locals and a major tourist attraction. You couldn’t have a restored town clock in a city, it would then be a city clock.”

Machynlleth’s claim to self importance is that Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr established his Parliament above a pub in the town, but that was in 1404 and little has taken place there in the 600 years since.

Wrexham in North Wales, Luton, Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough, Colchester and Bournemouth are among a number of  towns bidding for city status in 2012.

The Queen will upgrade a provincial British town to hardly believable city status next year to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

A spokesman for the Palace said the Queen would welcome the ‘sensible’ decision reached by Machynlleth councillors.

“Seriously, Macwhere?” said the flunky: “2,000 people, that’s not a city it’s not even a football crowd, it’s a nightclub in Cardiff or Luton even.”


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