Austin Macauley 05 September 2014

Council merger would be ‘a step backwards’, argues town hall

A council in South Wales has insisted it can ‘stand alone’ amid proposals to merge it with two other local authorities.

Caerphilly County Borough Council said while it had not formally rejected the idea of a merger it saw the move as a ‘step backwards’ and favoured remaining independent.

The proposals to merge it with Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen councils are part of a Welsh Government consultation on plans to cut the number of authorities in Wales from 22 to 12.

‘Here in Caerphilly we have an excellent track record of delivering services and being a well run authority that is financially very well managed,’ said Caerphilly’s leader, Cllr Keith Reynolds.

‘This is evidenced by the results of the Welsh Government’s recent National Survey for Wales, which highlights that residents are pleased with the standards of the services we deliver. We have managed to deal with any emergencies that have arisen and overall we’re in a very strong position to be able to stand-alone.

‘We want to send a strong message to everyone that this cabinet’s overriding view is that we will be looking for the authority to press the case to Welsh Government for a stand-alone solution as far as this authority is concerned.’

The Welsh Government is consulting on the proposals until October 1.

Theres a whiff of purpose once more on devolution image

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Devolution should rock the status quo and create a new culture of governance which pushes everyone who currently holds decision-making power out of their comfort zones, says deputy chief executive of New Local Jessica Studdert.
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