Latest Public Sector News

08.10.12

Conwy and Denbighshire councils scrap consolidation

Conwy and Denbighshire councils have halted plans to merge their highway departments, after estimates showed the plans could cost the taxpayer more money than anticipated.

It was believed that up to £300,000 could be saved by working together on road networks. However, one estimate claimed that the merger could cost up to £750,000 and another stated that up to £1.3m would be spent on fusing the two departments. The process was predicted to last up to three years.

The Welsh Government has called for councils to work together to save essential funds. Many councils share staff and collaborate with others. Local government minister Carl Sargeant has stated that he wants to meet with council officials to discuss why the merger is not going ahead.

However, Cllr Mike Priestley, highways leader on Conwy County Borough Council, said: “Putting two services together costs money, and at this stage – bearing in mind the financial climate that we're in – it just didn't stack up.”

He added that the councils were “not saying it’s never going to happen,” but rather that “it’s just not right at this time.”

Denbighshire councillor David Smith added: “We haven't jumped into bed with Conwy, we're not getting married, but we're still friends and we're still talking together and we still have collaborative projects.” He added that the councils were “still looking for areas where we can work together.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. David Bigg

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