Thomas Bridge 03 June 2015

Local government system ‘bleeding to death’, warns Welsh council leader

A council leader has called for fast-paced local government reorganisation in Wales because the current system is ‘bleeding to death’.

Dyfed Edwards, leader of Gwynedd Council, told the BBC that town halls were all ‘struggling’ and needed to ‘change sooner rather than later’.

Edwards, who is also deputy presiding officer of the Welsh Local Government Association, warned local authorities would not be able to continue services under current levels of budget cuts.

‘If reorganisation is going to happen, let's get on with it,’ he added.

‘Yes there will be upheaval in the short term, but it's that long term gain which is worth the effort.’

Two Welsh Assembly committees last month pushed the Welsh Government for greater detail on plans to reduce the number of councils from 22 to between 10 and 12.

A draft bill due to be published this autumn will detail planned leadership reforms, measures designed to raise diversity among elected members and efforts to improve local authority management.

A new map of Welsh councils is also due to be published later this summer.

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