Skip to content

Written Statement - The Future of Local Government in Wales

Related Links

Tell us if you want any of the documents on this page in an alternative format.
Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services

The consultation on our Reforming Local Government - Power to Local People White Paper closed on 28 April 2015.  There were over 700 consultation responses to the White Paper itself and over 3,000 responses to the Opinion Poll. In addition, 38 engagement events were held across Wales with Local Authorities and stakeholders, with over 600 individuals attending.

 

The White Paper itself covered a wide range of themes.  We have undertaken an initial analysis of the consultation responses which has shown strong support for many of the proposals, including giving a general power of competence to Local Authorities and the proposal to establish a Public Services Staff Commission. 

 

In contrast, there were also clear views against some of the proposals including: term limits for Elected Members; the phasing of Local Government elections; the removal of prohibition on officers standing for election in their own Authorities; and the competency test that Community Councils should have a turnover of at least £200,000.  As a result, I have decided not to proceed with these proposals in the draft Local Government Mergers and Reform Bill which we will publish for consultation in the autumn. 

 

In terms of the number of elected members the newly merged Authorities might have, I propose that the current cap of 75 elected members per Authority is removed and a higher cap considered.  I accept that larger councils could mean councillors representing an unreasonably large number of electors.  I therefore intend to consult shortly on the Directions I intend to make to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales and look forward to welcoming views on what an appropriate cap for councillors might be for the new Authorities to best deliver effective representation and democratic governance. 

 

I am also today announcing the Welsh Government’s preference for the future configuration of Local Government in Wales.  We have consistently stated that while Williams Option 1 was our preferred option, we remained open to considering alternatives. 


Further consideration has been given to a range of issues including the views of individual Local Authorities and these are reflected in the configurations shown below and the attached Maps.  In North Wales, we feel that there is a case for a further debate about the future structure and have therefore included two options.

 

9 Local Authorities

  • Isle of Anglesey and Gwynedd
  • Conwy and Denbighshire
  • Flintshire and Wrexham
  • Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea and Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil
  • Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Newport
  • Powys 

8 Local Authorities

  • Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy
  • Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham
  • Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea and Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil
  • Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Newport
  • Powys

I want to emphasise this is not a final decision.  It is the next phase in discussions.  Following discussion of these options, we will publish and consult on a draft ‘Mergers and Reform’ Bill in the autumn.  This will include further, formal consultation on our proposals for Local Authority mergers and include a Regulatory Impact Assessment.  It will also provide a formal opportunity for consultation on the Welsh Government’s preference for the future configuration of Local Government in Wales.