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Minister sets out challenges and opportunities for community and town councils

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews focussed today on the future of town and community councils.
Thursday 14 May 2015

Addressing the third joint conference of One Voice Wales, which represents community and town councils in Wales, and the Society of Local Council Clerks, Leighton Andrews said:

“Our communities are impatient for change. Over the last century, Principal Councils have taken control of many facilities once run in the community. We are now seeing the reverse happen, creating opportunities for community and town councils

“There will be opportunities for communities to take more control over services and assets and, in some cases, to run services. This is taking community and town councils back to their roots.

“Community and town councils need to provide the leadership to guide and support their communities through this period of change. To rise to the challenges and opportunities, community and town councils will need to group together to form larger councils - activist local councils in activist communities.”

There are 735 Community and Town Councils in Wales. A substantial proportion of people – about 70% - live in communities served by Community and Town Councils.  These Councils raise about £30million annually from their communities to fund the services they provide. In total, over £40million is spent by Councils each year.

One of the great strengths of these Councils is that they are closer to local people than any other level of government.  However, there are concerns around their number, scale, representativeness and accountability.

The White Paper on Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People sets out the need to raise the ambition of Community Councils so they are better placed to deliver important community services in the future.  There is a strong case for bringing more consistency and greater professionalism to their role. 

 

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Local government 14 May 2015 Public services Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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