Laura Sharman 05 August 2014

Concerns raised over council mergers in Wales

Independent councillors have raised concerns over the reorganisation of local authorities in Wales.

Welsh Independent Councillors said they are ‘extremely concerned’ about the proposals made in the Williams report, which recommends reducing the number of authorities through mergers from 22 to 12.

It said having fewer and larger local authorities could weaken local democracy and accountability, and have a ‘significant effect’ on local services.

The WLGA Independent Group also said it was concerned about the cost of reorganisation, which local authorities could not afford to meet with their reduced settlements.

Cllr Hugh Evans, leader of the WLGA Independent Group, said: ‘We will be inviting the local government minister, Lesley Griffiths AM to enter into meaningful and hopefully productive talks regarding local government reorganisation.

‘Perhaps using the oft used sound bite of ‘Local Solutions to Local Problems’ we should request the Welsh Government to adopt the same methodology and allow local authorities to at least have the opportunity of putting their own ideas into solving the problem of 22 local authorities in Wales.’

Council leaders in Wales have already warned the merger plans are 'too unclear'.

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