National and Devolved Politics

12.06.18

Wales council mergers ‘not in interests of residents,’ says Denbighshire

Denbighshire County Council has warned that plans to force councils across Wales to merge would “undermine their ability to deliver services.”

In a special council meeting yesterday, the council agreed to a formal response to the green paper proposing the reorganisation of local government in Wales, in which it said that it was not in the interest of its residents.

It argues that a credible case for the green paper consultation document has not been made, and while the council is engaged in existing and developing regional and sub-regional collaborations, it says that local authority joint committees are not a suitable vehicle for some other regional collaborations, which would remain true after local government reorganisation.

The Welsh Government plans to cut the number of councils from 22 to 10, and the council has warned that the transition process would “inevitably become a central focus for all local authorities in the lead up to the mergers,” which would undermine their ability to deliver services to residents over a number of years.

While Denbighshire council agrees that a combined Denbighshire and Conwy council could potentially achieve some savings in management, support services and elected member costs, it argues that there would “likely be a weakening of links between local communities, their elected representatives and decision making.”

The council added: “Most local authority spend is targeted at services such as education and social care, which are unlikely to produce significant cost savings as a result of having larger merged authorities.

“Many other services from waste collection and recycling to leisure facilities will not see obvious opportunities for savings that cannot be delivered by the existing local authorities either by themselves or through collaborative efforts.”

Based on past experience of local government reorganisation, Denbighshire says that the new, merged authorities would face “serious challenges especially during their first few years, but potentially for an even longer period.”

It added: “The reduced service provision over this extended period is not in the interests of our service users or local democracy and accountability.”

Denbighshire isn’t the first authority to reject the green paper, with Anglesey telling first minster Carwyn Jones to “stick his green paper in the bin where it belongs.”

The green paper consultation closes today.

Top image: Arwel Parry

 

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

Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of ... more >
Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

16/10/2018Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

A former employee of Westminster City Council has been found guilty of stealing nearly £1m from the council pension fund. Ian Woodall,... more >
Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

15/10/2018Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

Demonstrators and parents have gathered outside County Hall in Norwich to protest against planned mass children’s centre closures as Norfol... 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 >
500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

11/10/2018500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton and residents face a council tax rise of 4.99% in what has been described as “the most significant financial challenge the council has ever faced... more >
Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

05/10/2018Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

James Brokenshire has formally ended the government’s intervention in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council following “significant improvements” in a recent review. The Mini... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... 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 >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

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 >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News