Council Mergers

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  • #54795

    The Monitor
    Participant

    I notice that areas throughout the UK are being given more local powers. This equates to a greater division of areas into More authorities, and greater local democracy. This in turn leads to a more democratic representation at the higher levels of government.

    How is it that the Welsh Assembly Government is working in reverse to this policy by proposing to force the merging of local areas and so reducing the democratic process in Wales?

    I think it is obvious which procedure I support.

    You?

    #70804

    wrexview
    Participant

    At present Wales has 22 County Councils for a population of 4 million!

    #70828

    The Monitor
    Participant

    @wrexview 16803 wrote:

    At present Wales has 22 County Councils for a population of 4 million!

    That goes a long way towards independent personal representation at governmental level, which is real democratic power.
    To reduce the number of councils reduces the power of individual vote and in doing so weakens the individual. Human rights are more likely to be infringed, voices unheard or ignored and power rests in the hands of too few individuals. I repeat the merging of councils is a bad thing for democracy and should not be enforced by the government. It should be put to a full public vote by the people.

    #70823

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    If you think democracy works in Wrexham then look at the decisions that the Council Members have taken over the past twelve months AGAINST the wishes of the electorate.
    Closure of Plas Madoc, Libraries, Day Centers, Work Opportunities, Community Centres to name but a few.
    Democracy is based on Leadership listening and understanding those they represent– is that the case in Wrexham !!
    The Council has become a unilateral decision making machine with no regard to the public.
    I challenge The Monitor to give examples of were democracy is working locally with the Council.

    #70805

    wrexview
    Participant

    When they do get the measure of the public mood , like drilling in Borras and vote against the proposal , the company go to appeal and win !!

    #70829

    The Monitor
    Participant

    @99dylanjones 16806 wrote:

    If you think democracy works in Wrexham then look at the decisions that the Council Members have taken over the past twelve months AGAINST the wishes of the electorate.
    Closure of Plas Madoc, Libraries, Day Centers, Work Opportunities, Community Centres to name but a few.
    Democracy is based on Leadership listening and understanding those they represent– is that the case in Wrexham !!
    The Council has become a unilateral decision making machine with no regard to the public.
    I challenge The Monitor to give examples of were democracy is working locally with the Council.

    Don’t challenge me … I believe we are on the same page. Whilst the betrayal of the democratic process we have witnessed in Wrexham is bad, it would only worsen by reducing the number of councils and creating bigger monoliths of centralised power. Large organisations diminish and marginalise the individual reducing the organisation’s accountability to the people.

    #70833

    JRW
    Member

    @The Monitor 16810 wrote:

    Don’t challenge me … I believe we are on the same page. Whilst the betrayal of the democratic process we have witnessed in Wrexham is bad, it would only worsen by reducing the number of councils and creating bigger monoliths of centralised power. Large organisations diminish and marginalise the individual reducing the organisation’s accountability to the people.

    Well before we start to consider any merger or not,we must return to the position of the power and influence of the individual local ward councillor that existed before the current system of “Executive Cabinet” was introduced.

    After watching the Webcasts of recent “Executive Board” meetings the individual Councillor’s role has been reduced to that of a mere bystander.We also had the permitted personal attack by a member of the EB on an individual Councillor that was not only allowed by the EB’s chair but he refused to allow the individual Councillor any comeback.

    Yes before we even consider any position on any proposed merger,these are the issues of democratic deficit that have to be faced up to first.

    #70809
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    I don’t see merging Councils together as a question of enhancing democracy otherwise we may as well argue for Councils to exist on every street. Democracy is a term often used in a clichéd way and, ultimately, merely translates as the majority determining the way forward.

    I would personally like to see the most effective form of local-national Government and I haven’t made up my mind fully the shape that I prefer. I don’t like the current Europe-UK balance and I am one who would prefer Europe to be a trading zone with limited powers. I’m not sure about the Welsh Assembly because its track record has not been good (especially on health and education). Wrexham Council has not been an effective instrument in local Government but I’m not sure whether that it because it is too small or merely because the culture of indifference has become too embedded. I do note effectiveness around the UK and I suspect that local Government would probably be better run on a regional basis (North East Wales, North west Wales, etc).

    I am actually more interested in the transparency that I find in local government and the ability of the individual to impact on outcomes than size. I would like to see the debate more about accountability, transparency, effectiveness, dynamics, logistics and so on than size.

    From a business point of view, I usually want government to get out of my way, reduce Rates, work efficiently and stop wasting the hard earned money that they dispose of too freely (not to be clichéd of course-lol)

    #70808

    zinger
    Participant

    Democracy is spoiled by apathy in my opinion. If everyone were to vote then I am sure that decisions made by local & national governments would be different. We tend just to hear the opinions of the passionate few. Not necessarily the opinions of the majority.

    #70824

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    Zinger has hut the nail on the head — the overall apathy in the potential electorate is a real concern. As the number of voters diminishes so will the number of potential people wishing to stand for an elected office that have the understanding and background to fulfill the role. Tinkering around with the age of voting to get a higher number of voters is only a sideline to the reality of getting the general public to vote.
    The traditional political parties are not engaging with sufficient people to get them to sign up as members- this is likely to create single issue parities that will garner voters around their cause rather than a holistic view of the needs of society at Local, Regional and National level.

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