I apologise if you have had problems with previous drafts of this post but Blogger is not working well through Opera (My preferred system)and I've had to use Google Chrome.
Hat Tip to Gareth Hughes and Plaid Wrecsam for their analysis of Labours plans for Local Government in Wales and a special mention to Cibwr for a well thought out case on reform ,especially on Community councils.
As Gareth states.
One can understand the impatience of Welsh Government with the current local government structure. But to reorganise by stealth is not the way forward. A coherent set of proposals need to be produced and the public need to be involved in deciding how services should be delivered in the future.In some ways Labour's proposals is a Mirrors opposite that of David Cameron's Big Soceity in that the intention is to hand areas like Education to unelected bodies in Cameron's case voluntary but in the two case s there is no room for directly elected representation. but both proposal,s which in the beginning may have some popular support will soon run into trouble when people realise that they will have no direct access to voice their concerns via their local Councilor . I f your Councilor fails you in their representation. You have the option of voting for someone else. Both the Con/Libdem and Labour proposals means that direct democratic access (via your representative)is curtailed.
The frightening thing in the Welsh context is how it is evident that the Labour Assembly Government sending in of Commissioners to councils which their have decided as failing (Blaneau Gwent,Pembrokeshire,and Isle of Anglesey) is clearly linked to Labours Assembly Government plans to obtain merger of councils through the back door and increase the Assembly Governments influence.
It is also clear to me that the singling of out of these councils is largely linked to next years local government elections as Labour try to link Non-Labour councils to poor performance.
At the moment Labour only have overall control of RCT and Neat h Port Talbot but next may they must have high hopes of regaining their local dominance..
They must expect to
Gain a Absolute Majority in
Blaneau Gwent, Bridgend,Caerphilly Flintshier ,Merthyr Tydfil,Newport,Torfaen and Swansea
And if the expected Libdem collapse occurs.Then they could add Wrexham, and the "Jewel in the Crown " that is Cardiff to the list.
However if Labour do win these Councils then along with RCT and Neath Port Talbot then Labour will be in overall control of 12 of the 22 Welsh Unitary authorities.
If it is even only a few less councils they control . To what extent would the new Labour leaders of these councils wish to see areas that they have gained responsibility for passed to these Regional government Quangos.? Would the Labour Assembly Government risk a revolt from tier own councilors as they seek to retain tier powers? and anyway would they feel the necessity for change if they are back in control of the majority of Welsh Councils?
Ironically it seems that the best way to make sure the Assemblies plans for local government do not end with these undemocratic regional areas ,would be to vote Labour next year..