Options for Welsh local government reorganisation published

17 Jun 15

Welsh public services minister Leighton Andrews has set out options for the possible reorganisation of councils in Wales that would see them cut down to eight or nine depending on how north Wales is divided up.

Under the eight-authority configuration, north Wales would be split into two areas: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd & Conwy and Denbighshire, Flintshire & Wrexham. Under the nine-authority model, three councils would govern the north: the Isle of Anglesey would be paired with Gwynedd, Conwy with Denbighshire and Flintshire with Wrexham.

“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,” Andrews said.

“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 (and have therefore included two options). I want to emphasise this is not a final decision. It is the next phase in our public debate.”

He said the current local government structure was failing to deliver quality services across Wales, noting that education was still in special measures in several authorities in the country.

“Some authorities are simply too small to survive,” Andrews added.

“The current system is costing council tax-payers millions on duplicated administrative services – as KPMG said last week, £151m a year could be saved if all councils were as efficient as the best.”

He also said that the cap of 75 elected councillors per authority would be removed so a higher cap could be considered.

The announcement follows a consultation on the Welsh Government’s Reforming Local Government – Power to Local People white paper, which closed on 28 April. More than 700 responses were revealed.

The proposed local authorities for the rest of Wales are:

·  Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire

·  Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

·  Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil

·  Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

·  Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Newport

·  Powys

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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