Sam Clayden 04 November 2016

Drakeford sets out timetable for council revamp

The timetable for local government reform in Wales has been set out by the local government secretary, Mark Drakeford.

Welsh councils have been warned to use the next 18 months to prepare for the ‘harder choices that lie ahead’.

In a speech to the Welsh Local Government Association conference, the local government secretary said he had ‘listened carefully’ to concerns about the ‘corrosive impact that uncertainty has had’ on councils.

He told council leaders: ‘I think we’re all aware that there is a real reputational risk to local government if we can’t move forwards on these proposals. We simply can’t afford to step back.

‘We need to remember why reform is so important and the reason is this: local government makes a real difference. That is why we need to create a new relationship between the public and their local councils.’

He said the reforms he was proposing ‘may appear challenging’ but insisted a ‘cultural shift’ was vital.

Mr Drakeford said he wanted to find 'consensus' with local areas by the end of the year and finish consulting on proposals before local elections.

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