Conwy and Denbighshire councils look set to merge after councillors at both authorities voted in favour of the move.
The Welsh Government has given councils until the end of this month to submit proposals for voluntary mergers.
The two local authorities have held a series of discussions over the last few months and, if the Government approves, they will prepare a business case that will be considered by their elected members next summer.
‘We were the first councils in Wales to publicly declare an interest in the potential of a merger with a neighbouring authority, but we must make it clear that this is an expression of interest and not a full business case for merger,’ said Councillor Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire. ‘We believe there are a number of important reasons to proceed to develop a full business case.’
Leader of Conwy, Dilwyn Roberts said: ‘There are similarities between the local authority areas – cost savings could be made. There is early encouraging support from the Welsh Government and there are advantages to voluntary merger over a compulsory move, but there are also risks to managing the merger process and the outcome. All this will be taken into account when a full business case is drawn up.’