Concern for Pembrokeshire services as report claims number of local authorities to be slashed

Western Telegraph: COUNTY HALL: Pembrokeshire County Council's main offices in Haverfordwest.  (3330038) COUNTY HALL: Pembrokeshire County Council's main offices in Haverfordwest. (3330038)

A REPORT due to go before the Welsh Government could recommend slashing the number of local authorities in the country by half.

According to investigative website Wales Eye, a source ‘very close’ to the Commission of Public Service Governance and Delivery (CPSGD), set up by first minister Carwyn Jones to look ‘thoroughly and objectively’ at public services in Wales, has alleged its report will propose reducing local authorities from the current 22 down to 11. The move could lead to the loss of several hundred councillors and more local services are likely to be merged.

Hundreds of millions of pounds of tax payers’ money could be saved by these measures.

In a recent interview, Mr Jones gave a strong indication that changes would be made, saying ‘almost no-one’ in Welsh politics believes the present structure of 22 local authorities is ultimately viable.

Compared to other areas in Britain, Wales has a high number of local authorities in proportion to its population.

In a statement to the Western Telegraph, Pembrokeshire County Council Leader Jamie Adams said, assuming speculation regarding the commission’s report is correct, it came as ‘no surprise’ to him that some form of local government reorganisation has been suggested.

“In my view, retaining local democratic representation is of the utmost importance,” said Cllr Adams. “Decisions about Pembrokeshire should be taken in Pembrokeshire. Given that we currently charge, by some margin, the lowest Council Tax in Wales, any merger with another local authority is likely to result in a significant increase in the level of Council Tax Pembrokeshire residents would be expected to pay.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said he felt ministers in Cardiff should ‘tread carefully’ when it came to creating ‘super-councils’ in Wales.

“Bigger does not always mean beautiful or provide better value for money for that matter,” said Mr Crabb.

“There were very good reasons why local people fought to get Pembrokeshire back from the old Dyfed authority. Many of those reasons are still valid. The merger of the Pembrokeshire Health Board with Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion a few years ago, and the battle for Withybush as a result, provides a pointer as to the risks to local services that could follow the abolition of Pembrokeshire County Council.”

“I will be following the recommendations of the Commission very closely and will raise my concerns with the Welsh Minister.”

Chaired by Sir Paul Williams, a non-executive director of Natural Resources Wales, the commission was scheduled to report its findings at the end of 2013. The report is now likely to be presented within the next few weeks.

The Welsh Government said it would not comment before the report is published.

Comments (11)

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4:25pm Mon 13 Jan 14

teifion says...

Couldn't be any worse than the incompetent self-serving shower we have now!
Couldn't be any worse than the incompetent self-serving shower we have now! teifion

6:03pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Welshman23 says...

BPJ, Jamie Adams pack your bags or sharpen your act your days are numbered.
BPJ, Jamie Adams pack your bags or sharpen your act your days are numbered. Welshman23

7:38pm Mon 13 Jan 14

teifion says...

Welshman23 wrote:
BPJ, Jamie Adams pack your bags or sharpen your act your days are numbered.
We've both got 2 votes down at 19:35 Monday evening - do you think it's the two gentlemen (I really hope they're not offended by that term;) concerned voting LOL
PS BPJ will be OK as If he left tomorrow he's be on a PENSIOn of a £100k
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: BPJ, Jamie Adams pack your bags or sharpen your act your days are numbered.[/p][/quote]We've both got 2 votes down at 19:35 Monday evening - do you think it's the two gentlemen (I really hope they're not offended by that term;) concerned voting LOL PS BPJ will be OK as If he left tomorrow he's be on a PENSIOn of a £100k teifion

10:46am Tue 14 Jan 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

With Council Social care activities (and budgets) being closely aligned to Health Authorities; Transport activities (and finances) being led by Regional bodies, Waste arrangements being joined up into regional bodies, sooner or later the question must arise about the role and function of Council's and the payment of County Councillors. on a basic salary of about £14,000 p.a.
Our councillors are ultimately responsible for our services, not least in the role of challenging and scrutinising the Cabinet and its policies.
If the decision. If these services are being run remotely, elsewhere, what is the role of Councillors?
With Council Social care activities (and budgets) being closely aligned to Health Authorities; Transport activities (and finances) being led by Regional bodies, Waste arrangements being joined up into regional bodies, sooner or later the question must arise about the role and function of Council's and the payment of County Councillors. on a basic salary of about £14,000 p.a. Our councillors are ultimately responsible for our services, not least in the role of challenging and scrutinising the Cabinet and its policies. If the decision. If these services are being run remotely, elsewhere, what is the role of Councillors? Indeview J Hudson

9:39pm Tue 14 Jan 14

teifion says...

anyone told the councillors - pay the most and get the most useless selfish?
anyone told the councillors - pay the most and get the most useless selfish? teifion

11:26am Wed 15 Jan 14

Cymru bach says...

I think that this is a good idea.
However the only thing that needs cutting is Management.

We have a CEO and Directors in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, - do we really need them all?

Likewise do we really need all three top and middle management in all three authorities? Make them work for their money.

Councillors and SRA's could also be culled.

Get on with it. Sooner the better.
I think that this is a good idea. However the only thing that needs cutting is Management. We have a CEO and Directors in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, - do we really need them all? Likewise do we really need all three top and middle management in all three authorities? Make them work for their money. Councillors and SRA's could also be culled. Get on with it. Sooner the better. Cymru bach

9:28pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Rockface says...

I don't mind the cuts regarding the council. However, I think the cuts regarding our hospital is simply absurd!
I don't mind the cuts regarding the council. However, I think the cuts regarding our hospital is simply absurd! Rockface

2:00pm Thu 16 Jan 14

malcolm calver says...

Many would say there is no need for a Welsh Assembly, as only a minority in Wales voted for it,. so perhaps another vote is needed regarding both the need for so many county councils and the Welsh Assembly
Pembrokeshie County Council I would suggest should remain, only it has to become more open and transparent and we should get rid off the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and also all the Community Councils in Pembrokeshire.
Many would say there is no need for a Welsh Assembly, as only a minority in Wales voted for it,. so perhaps another vote is needed regarding both the need for so many county councils and the Welsh Assembly Pembrokeshie County Council I would suggest should remain, only it has to become more open and transparent and we should get rid off the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and also all the Community Councils in Pembrokeshire. malcolm calver

2:28pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

How about an Assembly to deal with "national" matters, fewer bigger councils to deal with regional matters, as is happening by the backdoor now, with us represented on these by fewer councillors from enhanced bigger local community council's.

Or perhaps we could do away with all democratic representation, after all we do not have much of this anyway.
How about an Assembly to deal with "national" matters, fewer bigger councils to deal with regional matters, as is happening by the backdoor now, with us represented on these by fewer councillors from enhanced bigger local community council's. Or perhaps we could do away with all democratic representation, after all we do not have much of this anyway. Indeview J Hudson

6:16pm Thu 16 Jan 14

teifion says...

Indeview J Hudson wrote:
How about an Assembly to deal with "national" matters, fewer bigger councils to deal with regional matters, as is happening by the backdoor now, with us represented on these by fewer councillors from enhanced bigger local community council's.

Or perhaps we could do away with all democratic representation, after all we do not have much of this anyway.
who are these blithering idiots who think we have Democracy in Pembrokeshire - BPJ tells the councillors what to say and do and that's it! NO DISCUSSION
[quote][p][bold]Indeview J Hudson[/bold] wrote: How about an Assembly to deal with "national" matters, fewer bigger councils to deal with regional matters, as is happening by the backdoor now, with us represented on these by fewer councillors from enhanced bigger local community council's. Or perhaps we could do away with all democratic representation, after all we do not have much of this anyway.[/p][/quote]who are these blithering idiots who think we have Democracy in Pembrokeshire - BPJ tells the councillors what to say and do and that's it! NO DISCUSSION teifion

8:10am Mon 20 Jan 14

Welshman23 says...

Squeaky bumb time in the Kremlin today with the proposed details of the council mergers.
Squeaky bumb time in the Kremlin today with the proposed details of the council mergers. Welshman23

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