Conwy Council responds to draft Local Government (Wales) Bill
Councillors met at Bodlondeb this week (28/01/16) to finalise their response to the Welsh Government’s draft Local Government (Wales) Bill.
Councillors noted that although much of the initial public commentary focused on merger proposals, the Draft Bill also contains a range of significant reforms to councils’ democratic, governance and improvement arrangements.
Councillors agreed the power of competence for local government and election timescales were to be welcomed, but the response also highlights areas of concern, such as layers of additional bureaucracy, and emphasises key messages for the Minister and Welsh Government.
Cllr Philip Evans, Chair of Conwy’s Public Services Reform Working Group said, “This is a comprehensive response to the Welsh Government’s draft Local Government (Wales) Bill, which has been prepared following consultation on the merger map with local residents, and Council staff.”
“Our residents have expressed concern about the cost of the mergers and the impact on their Council Tax. We share our residents’ concerns and are worried whether the proposals in the draft bill have been appropriately costed, and what impact they will have on local democracy.”
Conwy’s response to Welsh Government reiterates that if local authority mergers are inevitable the preferred option for Conwy County Borough Council is to merge with Denbighshire County Council, in line with the Williams’ Report and the Expression of Interest submitted in November 2014.
The Council also resolved to send a copy of Conwy’s response to local and regional Assembly Members, to North Wales based Welsh Government Ministers and to the Leaders of every Welsh Council.
Link to Council agenda, report and webcast (item 8): http://modgoveng.conwy.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=207&MId=4459&Ver=4
Link to survey results: www.conwy.gov.uk/speakupconwy
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