Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services
In September I published the ‘Invitation to Principal Local Authorities in Wales to submit proposals for voluntary merger’. As outlined in this document the deadline for Local Authorities to submit their Expression of Interest to merge voluntarily was 28th November.
This is a unique opportunity for Local Authorities to influence the future shape of local government across Wales. I am encouraged by those that have grasped this opportunity. By engaging in this process, they recognise the opportunity voluntary mergers offer them to be at the vanguard of shaping the future role of local government in Wales.
The Welsh Government received three Expressions of Interest by the deadline. These are from:
- Conwy County Borough Council & Denbighshire County Council
- Bridgend County Borough Council & The Vale of Glamorgan Council
- Torfaen County Borough Council & Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
The Welsh Government will be reviewing these expressions of interest over the coming weeks.
In addition, the Welsh Government received a letter from Swansea County Council and Neath Port Talbot County Council communicating the political commitment of both authorities to explore the possibility of establishing a new authority and indicating that they will undertake further work to develop the proposal.
I will be writing to the respective Local Authorities early in the New Year setting out my views on the Expressions of Interest. I will make further announcements in due course.