Welcome back, Clwyd County Council

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  • #70920
    Mrs Crewe
    Mrs Crewe
    Participant

    For the population of Wales 22 councils is far too many. If you compare it to some of the large city councils, where population is similar, they have one head of education, we have 22. There is absolutely no reason why councils can’t be merged and still provide the same level of service. Alternatively, they could easily rationalise the back office posts to ensure that local services get delivered locally. We don’t need 22 payroll, HR or Internal Audit teams. Before anyone starts throwing bricks, I am a back office local government officer, what I am suggesting would put my job at risk. But if we are ever to have a proper economy in Wales we have to stop relying on the Public Sector to supply the majority of jobs. Wales has something like a 75% GDP of public sector, by any economics that is no way to run a country. All of us are working and paying tax just to fund ourselves. That leaves nothing for education, health or development investment.
    i understand that Wrexham Council is worried about going back to the bad old Clywd days when all development investment went to Dee Side, but instead of throwing their toys out of the pram they should grasp the opportunity to bring their concerns and objectives to the table and be part of the group leading change instead of the ones resisting the inevitable.

    #70919

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    Infrastructure investment went to Deeside as that was an area identified by business as a place to move and develop expansion of new business that were closer to the large conurbation market in the North west and export through Liverpool and Manchester. Incentives for businesses were available but that was no different to Wrexham. One of the big differences however is that many Deeside businesses stayed and expanded whereas in Wrexham for whatever reason they came and left– Firestone etc.
    In the press today there is news that one of the large haulage firms from Wrexham are moving to Deeside to new 100,000 sq ft purpose built complex. What has been offered to them to move– if Wrexham and Flintshire was one Council would we see these types of moves within the same county boundary.
    The point about GDP contribution of the Public Sector is a massive issue as these levels cannot be maintained as technology and efficiencies start being built into the ‘system’.
    We should not overlook the impact of these changes on the lives of the staff in Local Authorities leaving a work force that has a very low morale at the moment for fear of job losses and pressure to do more work– clearly Mrs Crewe should be part of the change process but with what appears to be a management team in Wrexham Council that are totally blinkered and a hearing deficiency by not listening to the expertise intheir own staff.

    #70907

    wxm
    Participant

    @Mrs Crewe 17348 wrote:

    . . . But if we are ever to have a proper economy in Wales we have to stop relying on the Public Sector to supply the majority of jobs … by any economics that is no way to run a country. All of us are working and paying tax just to fund ourselves. That leaves nothing for education, health or development investment . . .

    Hits the nail on the head

    #70912

    JaneJ
    Participant

    One of the issues within Wrexham Council and many others in Wrexham is that most of the management teams up until the last couple of years have been very fortunate to have substantial Public Sector funding for services (even if not always wisely). These same management teams are now having to learn the skills to reduce budgets as they have never had to experience this situation before. Negative budgeting is a very precise skill which clearly the officers and Council Members don’t have hence the reason they are still bringing in so many external consultants/financial management teams. The only thing the Council Management seem capable of doing is recognizing their shortcoming- why then are we paying people Members and Officers who don’t have the right skills. Wrexham Council have employed far more consultants in the past 2 years than Flintshire or Denbighshire– there clearly is a message here which should be considered in the debate about Wrexham and Flintshire merging.

    #70909
    Daave63
    Daave63
    Participant

    Blooming eck, I feel asleep at end of November and woke up in the 1990’s, missed chritmas and nobody told me it was snowing!

    What people should look at is that FCC are seriously in debt, and havn’t even made a start on cuts, job losses etc. At least in Wrexham we have been cutting our cloth accordingly, WCBC may be ‘crap’ but at least we are heading the right way. Jumping back into bed with Flintshire is not the answer [not for us anyway]

    #70904
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    @wxm 17382 wrote:

    Hits the nail on the head

    I don’t know whether Wrexham Council are good or bad as an authority but Wrexham and Mrs Crewe (Quote “For the population of Wales 22 councils is far too many. If you compare it to some of the large city councils, where population is similar, they have one head of education, we have 22”) say it all.

    Perhaps if the number of Councils were rationalised, the Rates required to sustain the public sector would be reduced. This would encourage business which would allow the rebalancing to develop. Ultimately, the fatter the public sector, the fatter the taxes and rates

    #70913

    JaneJ
    Participant

    Sorry Daave63 looks like you have been sleeping for a long time perhaps if you read the pages on Flintshire Council web site you will then realize that they have been holding cinverstaions with the public and there mangers and staff to identify cuts. To bring you up to speed best if you read Your Council – Tough decisions ahead for the Council then make a decision about wheather FCC have been sitting back or been proactive.

    #70923

    CVA01
    Participant

    There is no where in the UK where there is one head of education (or any other dept for that matter) doing the job that 22 in Wales. The largest single local authority in the UK (and Europe for that matter) is Birmingham City Council – serving just over 1m people. And it is performing that poorly it narrowly missed being broken up into 3-4 smaller boroughs.

    A smaller number of LAs doesnt necessarily mean more efficiency. It can lead to diseconomies of scale. What people are overlooking is that fewer LAs gives the individual citizen LESS power and influence. Conversely it gives the Welsh Government MORE power. So forget localism (which hasnt come to Wales despite 15 years of devolution). Quite the opposite is happening. The logical conclusion of the current direction of travel is 6 LAs in 20yrs time, 3 in 20yrs after then none at all.

    The problem isnt the number of LAs (the Republic of Ireland has 31) but the division of functions. It is also about proper local government (i.e autonomy) rather than local administration of central targets as we have now.

    #70908

    wxm
    Participant

    It’s all interesting and valid. Perhaps the discussion / thread needs to work through what an ideal or perfect local governance should look like. Something is not right, so something has to change …putting public services and politics to one side, and looking at the economy and money flow in the locality, we under perform behind others areas, and the position worsens year on year

    #70903
    Chris
    Chris
    Participant

    I’m just bemused that the Welsh assembly{or government as they liker to call it) is all about devolution but when it come to levels below them it about taking control down to Cardiff.

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