Council’s across Wales could be reduced from 22 to ten under new proposals from Welsh Assembly Government Ministers.
Local Government Secretary Alun Davies has called for a ‘conversation’ about the future of local government.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) will be one of the many organisations coming to the table if future talks on the proposals take place.
They have already indicated that Welsh council’s must work together and that the beginnings must come from within local councils rather than be mandatory as a result of WAG intervention.
Some officials are saying that by acting together there are economic gains in costs, quality and service and that the reduction is long overdue.
Llanelli’s AM Lee Waters believes that 22 councils is too many. Speaking to Llanelli Online today, Wednesday (Mar 21) following the media’s interest in the re-floated proposals Mr Waters said:
“I think everyone agrees that 22 local authorities is too many. 12 years ago councils were given five years to work together or face mergers. Four years ago an independent commission recommended that we should cut down the number of local authorities, but they wouldn’t co-operate. Two years ago, the Welsh Government give them another chance by asking them to group together as regions to work more smartly. And this year they have said they don’t want to play ball with that suggestion either.
“The Tory austerity cuts mean that unless we make savings some councils will simply collapse. This week’s announcement gives local authorities yet another chance to reform. The public simply will not understand if they pass it up again”
What do you think?
Could larger merged council’s with more devolved powers handed down from the WAG be better?
Could more sharing of services be better and more cost effective for the public?
Should councils hand over the running of their services to outside organisations?
Would you like Carmarthenshire County Council to be merged with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion or with councils to the East like Swansea?
Let us know your thoughts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org