Local Government proposals encourage cross council working

31 January 2017

Plans for the future of local government in Wales have been published this afternoon by the Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford.  The plans include electoral reforms and proposals for councils to work together.

Setting out the proposals for consultation, the Local Government Secretary said:

“The White Paper is not about change for change’s sake. Our councils are working against a backdrop of extraordinary austerity and some services are facing a great deal of pressure. Local government reform is essential if we’re to make these services stronger and more resilient to cope with demands of the future.”

The White Paper includes ‘mandatory regional working’. This means that councils will have to work together in certain areas like education and social services. But individual councils will also have more control over spending on areas , such as, Welsh language provision and education. Previous proposals to merge councils have not been included in the plan.

Proposed electoral reforms are also included in the report. This would see a move towards proportional representation and away from the first past the post system. Other proposals would allow sixteen and seventeen year olds to vote in local elections.

But Conservative Councillor Rod McKerlich for Radyr and Morganstown is not convinced about giving the not to sixteen year olds.

“The jobs that councils do are very complicated and very few of them, other than schools actually relate to sixteen and seventeen year olds. I think that Mark Drakeford is spending a lot of ingenuity solving a non-existent problem.”

The consultation period will end on the 11th April 2017.


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