Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services
On 1 December I issued a Written Statement on the Expressions of Interest received from Local Authorities to merge voluntarily. Of the three Expressions of Interest submitted, one is in line with the Welsh Government’s current preferred option, whilst the other two are not.
While I am encouraged by those that have grasped this opportunity, it is disappointing that more Local Authorities haven’t recognised the opportunity voluntary mergers offer them to be at the vanguard of shaping the future role of local government in Wales.
The Welsh Government has begun the process of reviewing the Expressions of Interest received, but there are many detailed questions which require further clarification from Local Authorities before we are able to conclude our consideration.
As a result, we will not now respond formally to the respective Local Authorities by the 5 January 2015. I will make a further statement in the New Year.