Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wiliam's Commision proposals face a rocky road.

It is beginning to look like The Commission, led by former Welsh NHS chief Sir Paul Williams, recommending slashing the number of councils from 22 to between 10 and 12. is not going to happen ,

The report  see mergers of existing authorities, rather than redrawing council boundaries from scratch, to a maximum of 12 authorities, with options for two further mergers involving Swansea and the recreation of Dyfed. The only authority left untouched under any of the scenarios would be Powys.

The commission has not helped its case  by insisting that must agree the programme arrangements for mergers by Easter 2014(April 20th) at the latest.

This does not leave much time taking in the fact that Labour do not have an overall majority they will find it hard to push this through.

But his chances of a united position  look unlikely as  after both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats both support reform of the voting system to Single Transferable Vote (STV) as is the current state in Scotland local government.

This of course will face opposition from Labour Councillors, who are more likely to lose out under STV

Clearly the argument that if we are to reorganise local Government it must be done in a manner that we do not have to revisit it in 10 years.

The commissions merger solution looking increasingky  like a "Cut and Paste" job which may easily established, But is this seriously the best way to do this .

We do not want to be revisiting this in 10 years when it becomes clear that there is no tangible difference.in the performance of our councils.

In the mean time we may see existing councils thinking again about their budgets.

If the council that you are going to be merged with decides rather than cut Libraries  dip into their reserves then some councils are going to find that they may have to carry a virtually  bankrupt incorporated area.

Clearly Ceredigion's cabinet also decision  to raid £900,000 from its war chest to ease public service cuts in the county.has nothing to do with the Williams commissions proposals .

But other councils may if it becomes the proposals are going through.

What's to stop Merthyr who are likely to be swallowed  by Rhondda Cynon Taf seeing that they will have most of theirfacilities largely intact on the day the new council comes into force? 

Its beginning to look like  the Williams commission failure to be bold will cause us to be back at the table by 2025.



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