The leader of Cardiff Council, Phil Bale, has seen the light and recently stated "The total economic output of the....Region is just over £66bn, almost £20bn higher than the total output for Wales, and substantially larger than any other major conurbation in the UK except London. The West, as a region, is more economically productive than Greater Manchester, Merseyside and any of the northern regions and, with 2.5million people, we are bigger than all but one of the other city-regions in the UK"