Welsh AMs call for clarity on council merger costs

5 May 15

Welsh Assembly members have called for more detail on the costs and benefits of local authority mergers.

In a report on provisions in the Local Government (Wales) Bill to allow principal authorities to merge voluntarily by April 2018, the assembly’s finance committee said there needed to be clarity on likely costs and benefits and on how these would be scrutinised.

Finance committee chair Jocelyn Davies said: ‘The committee is concerned that the Bill will give Welsh Government the power to approve the voluntary mergers without the costs and benefits of the mergers being known.

‘We felt that clarity is needed as to how the costs of voluntary mergers will be scrutinised and recommend that the Welsh Government works with local government to prepare a clear plan for how it will estimate the costs of mergers.’

The committee is also calling for a review of the parts of the Bill that deals with the thresholds of transition committees. And it urged the Welsh Government to publish clear plans for minimising the impact of local authority mergers on differential council tax levels.

  • Vivienne Russell
    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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