Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for Public Services
In February the White Paper Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People was published. This set out our vision for Local Government in Wales based on activist Councils, engaged in delivering modern, accessible, high quality public services with their local communities. Members were informed about the White Paper consultation in an oral statement on 3 February and I am pleased today to publish a summary report of the responses to the consultation.
During the twelve week consultation period a series of 38 engagement events with Local Authorities and stakeholders was held, attended by over 600 individuals. In addition, a public awareness campaign ‘Councils in Wales are going to change’ ran during February and March to raise awareness of the White Paper consultation.
The consultation generated 726 responses from a range of stakeholders and members of the public. An online “Opinion Poll”, which sought views on key issues, generated 3,166 responses. All 22 Principal Local Authorities responded to the consultation. I am grateful to all those who took time to submit their views. The summary report of the responses has been published today on the Welsh Government’s website.
The Welsh Government is reflecting on all comments received in response to the consultation as part of the continued development of proposals for the reform of Local Government in Wales. The responses will inform the second Draft Local Government Bill, which I intend to publish for consultation in November 2015.
On 17 June, I announced the Welsh Government’s preference for the future configuration of Local Government in Wales (“the map”). We will consult formally on the map alongside the Draft Local Government Bill in the autumn. In the meantime, I would welcome any informal feedback on the map over the summer.
I will ensure Members are kept informed of progress on this matter.