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Options published for the future configuration of Local Government in Wales

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

Public Service Minister Leighton Andrews has today published proposals for the future configuration of Local Authorities in Wales. The proposals suggest eight or nine Local Authorities, with two options for the structure of authorities in North Wales.
Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Minister said:

“The case for fewer local authorities in Wales is compelling and widely accepted. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to reform and reshape our councils to drive funding into improving frontline services. We will drive down the cost of politics and administration in local government.”

“This announcement provides further clarity on the future configuration of local authorities in Wales. It sets out our preference for the future structure in South, Mid and West Wales while facilitating further discussion around North Wales. The case in North Wales is finely balanced between two or three Local Authorities.  We therefore feel that there is a case for a further debate and would welcome views.”

“I want to emphasise this is not a final decision.  It is the next phase in our public debate.  Following that, 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.

“The current structure is failing to deliver quality services across Wales, with education services still in special measures in several authorities in Wales. Some authorities are simply too small to survive. The current system is costing council tax-payers millions on duplicated administrative services – as KPMG  said last week, £151 million a year could be saved if all councils were as efficient as the best. We cannot go on as we are.”

The Minister also announced that he will not proceed with some of the proposals in the Reforming Local Government - Power to Local People White Paper. 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 will not be included in the draft Local Government Mergers and Reform Bill.

In addition, the current cap of 75 elected members per Authority will be removed due to the move towards fewer, larger councils. The removal of this limit will avoid councillors representing an unreasonably large number of electors.

 

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Local government 17 June 2015 Programme for Government - Public Services Public services Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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