National Left - Wales needs a progressive left future.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Plaid's proposal for Local Government reform late but welcome.
After Yesterdays Blog where I crticsised the need for a Cardiff City Region comes news that Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood will this week set out her party’s vision for reform of Wales’ 22 local authorities with a call for health and social care to be integrated in a new tier of .between five and seven combined authorities.
The Wasting Mule Online reports that
Plaid will reject the recommendations of the Williams Commission, which recommended the number of councils be cut to 10 or 12. Under Plaid’s proposals, the new “combined regional authorities” would deliver economic development and planning functions and would have the “scale and capacity to deliver other public services such as education improvement and health and social care effectively.”
s Wood said:
“These proposals will mean alignment between health, social services and current regional services, such as the education consortia. Though the current 22 authorities will be retained for local delivery and accountability, in combination they will elect regional authorities to undertake those functions that demand a regional, integrated approach. “Accountability will be back to the 22 current local authorities and no additional councillors or officers will be needed. Indeed, better regional alignment should mean savings. Instead of a plethora of consortia, boards and committees with different boundaries cutting across each other, there will be aligned regional authorities providing clarity of purpose and democratic accountability.” Plaid agrees that having 22 councils pursuing “22 different strategies for major public services is untenable with devolved national government
Ms Wood said:
“Plaid Cymru will be in a position to go into next year’s elections with a reform agenda and an intention to create strong combined authorities which can deliver public services effectively and play a key economic role. There is no reason to deliver every public service 22 times, but neither should we try for a quick fix or rushed job that doesn’t include a full consideration of the health service. “The Plaid Cymru approach will ensure that no community is left behind. Every community will have access to local democracy, and every community will be able to benefit from inclusion in a regional approach. “This public service reform will be part of Plaid Cymru’s ambition to turn around the Welsh economy, improve our public services and strengthen the nation. This looks like something in line with
I am presuming that these new bodies will be elected or maybe it wil consist of delegates from the exsisting councils something I am not sure is the best democratic solution, Butsince Plaid are also calling for the Introduction of STV it would be easy to drastically cut the number of councilors in the current authorities.as they will have less to do, and have about 20 super councilors on each of the new bodies.
Since I have suggested something similar in the past my main criticisms that Plaid have left it very late to come up with an alternative to the Williams Commission .
It however looks like a better than the back of a fag packet recommendation of the Williams Commission and its plan to simply merge two or three councils together .