Laura Sharman 25 November 2014

Council mergers could cost £269m says report

Local government mergers in Wales could cost £269m, according to a study on the financial implications of reform.

The report by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) shows that cutting the number of councils from 22 to 12 would cost up to £158m in redundancy and staff costs, up to £54m for the rationalisation of property and systems. Local government could also lose £57m in income due to council tax harmonisation.

Commissioned by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), SOLACE Wales and the Society of Welsh Treasurers, warns that savings would be made of £65m, which could take up to three years to be realised.

Cllr Aaron Shotton, WLGA deputy leader and finance spokesperson said: ‘Over the next three years alone, local government will be absorbing budget shortfalls of around £900m and I hope policy-makers and politicians alike will reflect on this piece of work and begin to address the many questions that arise from it.’

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