Council Mergers

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    Rex Ham

    Having read the BBC article, bearing in mind Leighton Andrews has rejected the mergers that have been proposed, this quote struck me as significant “First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for assembly party leaders to meet to agree a new map for local government.” Now that’s what I call democracy in action – not!



    @JaneJ 18299 wrote:

    Phil I actually agree with some of your points I do however take issue with your assertion that Council Members spend 3 days a week on their Council ‘work’. Please show me the evidence that you and your fellow colleagues actually spend this amount of time on Council business.
    As an honest Councilor can you really say that all of your colleagues send this level of time.
    Regarding increasing the number of AMs — not sure how on some of your thread you look for more things to be devolved from Westminster- surely if this is the case then there needs to be more AMs to oversee these new powers — you cant have it both ways. Also if WG remove some of the powers from Local Authorities is that not justification for reducing the number of Councilors.
    In Wales there are 1,254 Councilors 3,063,000 – this means every Councilor on average represents less than 2,500 people. There are 62 Assembly Members representing an average 49,000 for five days a week. The decision making in some element may be further away from the population but their actual representative role has to be more cost effectuve

    Jane forgot to mention if you wanted a closer insight into the working life of a County Councillor then I’m happy to meet with you.

    Cllr Phil Wynn



    @Rex Ham 18303 wrote:

    Having read the BBC article, bearing in mind Leighton Andrews has rejected the mergers that have been proposed, this quote struck me as significant “First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for assembly party leaders to meet to agree a new map for local government.” Now that’s what I call democracy in action – not!

    When push comes to shove I shan’t be surprised if the Tories, Plaid and the Lib Dem’s agree to a carving up of local democracy, admittedly without a mandate of the people of Wales, if it means they can secure forty more professional politicians in the Senedd.


    Born Acorn

    Maybe he just wants one big council for most of Wales. The other 9 will be for the valleys and Cardiff.


    @CVA01 18298 wrote:

    .Finally if we look at England, it doesnt even have its own elected government. It is governed by the British government. This is profoundly undemocratic. The governance of England is in far more need of reform that Wales, which at least has its own devolved assembly.

    If the alternative is the Welsh model, then I profoundly disagree.


    @PhilWynn 18300 wrote:

    I just wished the people of Wales had woken up back in March 2011 to the Yes No referendum on more legislative powers for the Welsh Assembly.

    It’s called democracy Big Boy, ‘Suck It Up’, as our American cousins are wont to say.



    Phil — I do not doubt your personal integrity as I am aware that you are out and about and engaged in the community. What I challenged you was whether you feel all your fellow Councilors put in 3 days worth of time and effort in a week…
    Regarding the comment by your Leader today in the Wrexham Leader about Leighton listening to Wrexham — what a foolhardy statement and shows a level of arrogance beyond belief. If he took the trouble to read the statement by Leighton fully – ‘he doesn’t think any of the expressions of interest recived sufficeiently meets the WG criteria for moving ahead to prepare a full voluntary merger proposal.’
    He did not say the plans for mergers were being scraped- just that the voluntary merger concept had not elicited any substantive submissions.
    To think that the Leader pf Wrexham Council in an 8 minute very frosty meeting succeeded in changing the Minister’s mind is school playground talk at best and down right ignorant of any political acumen.
    We await the White Pare next week for the level of detail on which judgement can be made.



    @Sheefag 18309 wrote:

    If the alternative is the Welsh model, then I profoundly disagree.

    At least Wales has a directly elected assembly, what ever it’s flaws. An elected government is something denied to England.

    The problem with Wales is power was devolved to the assembly but got no further. So Wales is governed in a similer manner to the Westminster model (I.e. the centre knows best) albeit the centre, for devolved issues at least, being Cardiff.

    The problem for local government is that it has no constitutional status. It exists at the discretion of the Welsh government. It has no right to exist and the Welsh government has every right to do whatever it likes with boundaries.



    If we could get a clearer understanding of what we mean as ‘local’ then the shape of Government to deliver would be easier to understand. In a County such as Wrexham with only one major centre of population we tend to accept Wrexam as be the heart of the local outlook. If you are in Flintshire — local is Mold, Flint, Holywell etc depending were you live.
    To get around this people need to determine what services they want at a ‘local level’ not who manages the service– in everyone’s eyes local will vary depending on the service–
    Local bin collection is clearly doorstep
    Local school — probably within 3 miles
    Local Dr similar 2/3 miles
    Local Hospital / Medical service 5 miles
    Play/outdoor space — waking distance
    Specialist Health care — 50 miles! If you have a child with specialist health issues would you bemoan traveling to Alder Hey if you knew you would get specialist treatment.
    Social Care — in your on home

    The point of all this is generally we do not care who manages the services provided they meet our own variable definition of ‘local’ and the quality meets expectations.

    If the quality of services meets our expectations we would never question who manages– we only question management when something is not going right and does not meet expectation.

    I wish people would stop bleating on about where something will be managed from rather than how it will be delivered. Preservation of management structure benefits one group of people only – the existing managers (Officers and Members)!



    @PhilWynn 18302 wrote:

    I can’t speak for others but until recently I had made the decision to commit myself full-time to the role of County Councillor since being re-elected in May 2012. Sadly being of working age, with no silver spoon, I’m reassessing the need to return to paid employment as £13k pa doesn’t stretch that far.

    How do you think Pensioners keep going on £13,832 per annum to keep two people?:(

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