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Taxpayers’ money thrown away on pointless council consultations

July 1, 2018 1:06 PM

This week Local Government Secretary Alun Davies announced that there would be no forced mergers of council in Wales. He had previously launched a consultation and made it obvious that he wanted to push through mergers including putting RCT with Merthyr and Bridgend.

A significant amount of Assembly civil servants' time went into this consultation and a great deal of officer and elected member time in councils across Wales where the plans met huge resistance.

Now the Labour Secretary has changed his mind, just as his predecessor Leighton Andrews did when he launched almost exactly the same report and consultation two years previously and was met with similar opposition from everyone including most of his own party. Why Alun Davies thought the results would be any different this time is anyone's guess.

Local Government reorganisation is necessary, as RCT Lib Dems have been saying all along. There are too many councils in Wales and too much money being spent on highly paid officers and red tape, but forcing through mergers that created huge expanses such as we would have had with RCT, Bridgend and Merthyr is not the answer. There needs to be a meaningful consultation and new borders drawn up based on geography, population density and service delivery not the simple rubbing out of existing lines on a map to merge existing authorities.

Cllr Mike Powell