We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Plaid sell out over Council reorganisations.

October 20, 2015 2:27 PM

Last week the Welsh Labour Government were forced to withdraw its Local Government Bill when it became clear none of the opposition parties would support it and they would be facing defeat.

This week they brought it back to the Assembly and with the help of Plaid the Bill will pass. It paves the way for voluntary mergers of Councils, but the last time councils came forward with suggestions for voluntary mergers Rhondda AM and Minister for Public Services Leighton Andrews turned them away.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate for the Rhondda Karen Roberts said

"We are all in favour of reorganising councils and having fewer councils and indeed councillors across Wales, but the process has to be clear and above all democratic. There needs to be input from residents and the Welsh Liberal Democrats want to see a fairer voting system

"Plaid's Simon Thomas recently said that 'The idea that we should be legislating for voluntary mergers when three came forward and the government said no to them, it's taking the p*** a bit with the Assembly, to be honest with you, as a legislative body.'

"Yet they have now rolled over and given in with no apparent reason at all.

"Plaid leader Leanne Wood talks of standing up for the people of Rhondda and Wales and offering a real alternative to Labour, but they are currently engaging in a cosy consensus, presumably with the aim of achieving some sort of coalition deal come May."

Ms Wood claimed that her party had "stopped Labour from enforcing their map for local government reorganisation through the back door before plans are put to people" and said that "Large scale changes to local government structures should not be decided by politicians with no mandate but should be decided by people in an election."

Yet the only concession they have achieved is that voluntary mergers will not go ahead before the Assembly election next May. This was already almost certainly the case anyway.