National and Devolved Politics

08.06.18

Councillors reject merger plans, tell minister to ‘stick green paper in the bin’

Anglesey councillors have unanimously rejected plans to merge with neighbouring Gwynedd Council, telling first minister Carwyn Jones to “stick his green paper in the bin where it belongs.”

The Welsh Government’s consultative green paper advocated reorganisation and sets out its intent for a “stronger, more empowered local government in Wales,” which includes plans to merge neighbouring authorities in an effort to cut the 22 existing councils in the country down to just 10.

However, in a special meeting of the full council yesterday, a report was presented warning that the green paper was largely silent on how best to safeguard local accountability.

The plans were rejected unanimously by councillors, who argued that the merger would have a “hugely detrimental effect” on service provision, local democracy and accountability – as well as impacting on the local economy and council tax levels.

Council leader Cllr Llinos Medi was dubious of the benefits to mergers and claimed that it “certainly won’t be the answer to the huge financial cuts faced by councils across Wales.”

“Local government in Wales already faces unprecedented budget cuts, but we’ve yet to hear from the Welsh Government where the money will come to pay for it,” she said. “There are estimates that local government reorganisation could cost more than £200m.”

Medi argued that this cash could be better spent on improving services for residents when budgets are under “such severe pressure.”

The council leader added that a merged Anglesey and Gwynedd would be geographically huge, thus impacting on local accountability and service delivery.

“Members also feel that reorganisation would blur work and hinder progress on major infrastructure projects led by the council and service transformation,” she concluded.

Cllr Bryan Owen, leader of the main opposition group, Anglesey Independents, echoed many of the concerns raised, adding: “Bigger does not always mean better. We’ve seen this in North Wales in terms of the health service.

“I believe that any merger would have a devastating effect on local accountability and services, as well as a severe economic impact on the county town of Llangefni where the main council offices are located.”

During a meeting of the Isle of Anglesey County Council to discuss its response, Owen added: “We're fine as we are, thank you.

“The first minister needs to stick his green paper in the bin where it belongs.”

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Birmingham City Council’s children’s social care services avoids ‘inadequate’ rating

17/01/2019Birmingham City Council’s children’s social care services avoids ‘inadequate’ rating

Birmingham City Council’s children’s social care services have broken a decade of ‘inadequate’ ratings after Ofsted inspe... more >
Oxfordshire County Council moves forward with £50m-savings transformation plan which could see 900 jobs lost

17/01/2019Oxfordshire County Council moves forward with £50m-savings transformation plan which could see 900 jobs lost

Transformational plans for Oxfordshire County Council could see 890 jobs lost in a bid to save £50m, as councillors meet today to discuss t... more >
Mayor-elect quits over controversy surrounding wife’s involvement in TV executive murder case

16/01/2019Mayor-elect quits over controversy surrounding wife’s involvement in TV executive murder case

The mayor-elect of the London Borough of Redbridge has dramatically withdrawn his nomination after it emerged that his wife was involved in the b... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Statutory directions lifted as council’s children’s services ‘vastly improved’

09/01/2019Statutory directions lifted as council’s children’s services ‘vastly improved’

Bromley LBC’s children’s services has had its statutory direction lifted by Ofsted in an “absolutely remarkable” turnaround just two years after inspectors slammed “... more >
Corby council calls for delay to Northamptonshire unitary plans

08/01/2019Corby council calls for delay to Northamptonshire unitary plans

Corby Borough Council has asked for the proposed creation of two new unitary authorities in Northamptonshire to be delayed after the local authority pointed to time constraints, staffing pressure... more >

the raven's daily blog

Top 5 reasons why you should claim your free EvoNorth delegate pass today

17/01/2019Top 5 reasons why you should claim your free EvoNorth delegate pass today

If you're looking to find out what's happening in the Northern Powerhouse, make new connections, and share innovative ways of working, confirm your attendance for EvoNorth on 27 - 28 Feb 2019. 1 - You'll gain an invaluable insight into what's happening across the north We have a wide range of speakers from across a number of sectors comi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Government accountability: A year in crises

15/01/2019Government accountability: A year in crises

From Windrush to Univerisal Credit: the Institute for Government’s (IfG’s) accountability lead Benoit Guerin discusses how we can ave... more >
Rethinking public-private partnerships

15/01/2019Rethinking public-private partnerships

Trinley Walker, senior policy researcher at the New Local Government Network (NLGN) considers some different ways of approaching the relationship... more >
Fracking: divest to invest

07/01/2019Fracking: divest to invest

Deirdre Duff, divestment campaigner at Friends of the Earth, takes a look at local authorities’ role in fracking. The fossil fuel indu... more >
Building credit with the public sector

07/01/2019Building credit with the public sector

Mark Morrin, localism lead and principal research consultant at ResPublica, makes the case for salary-deducted lending to sit alongside a broader... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News