The reorganisation of local government in Wales could deter new councillors from standing for election, a new report is warning.
The report was commissioned by the Welsh Government to examine the impact the introduction of the cabinet system has had on democracy and accountability in Wales.
It found that the merging of councils is likely to reduce the number of councillor, directly affected local democracy and community representation. It also said improvements were needed in public engagement in democratic processes and called for greater transparency in decision-making.
The report was conducted by Dr James Downe from Cardiff Business School, Ian Bottrill from Learning for Leadership Cymru and Lynne Wardle from Taylor Haig.
Dr Downe said: ‘We believe that a framework of principles should be developed to improve performance and that councils share ‘good practice’ in this area. It is also important to recognise and champion the ‘local voice’ and representative role which councillors embody, as a way of strengthening local democracy and public engagement.’