Report proposes merger of Newport and Monmouthshire and super-council for the Valleys

South Wales Argus: Report proposes merger of Newport and Monmouthshire and super-council for the Valleys Report proposes merger of Newport and Monmouthshire and super-council for the Valleys

GWENT’S five local authorities should be whittled down to two, with one large authority for the region's Valleys, a report said this morning.

Newport and Monmouthshire should be merged into a single council, while the communities of Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Caerphilly should be served by a single organisation.

This morning the Welsh Government-appointed Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery delivered its findings on the future of how our public services in Wales are run.

Its members say the 22 councils in Wales should be reduced to between ten and 12 by 2017/18, saving half a billion pounds over a decade.

But while different options are presented in some areas, in Gwent only one shake-up is suggested.

The commission believes that Wales is over-represented with councillors, and that there may be fewer after the recommendations are put in place.

However no prescription for how many councillors there should be was given, and it’s not clear how many jobs could be cut.

Carwyn Jones, Wales first minister, will now look at the report’s 62 recommendations and decide what to do next - with commissioners suggesting work should begin to take place as early as this Easter.

The commissions’ chairman Paul Williams said radical change is needed for public services to survive.

He told reporters: “Public services in Wales face severe and unprecedented challenges over the next decade. The affect of the recession and austerity will continue for many years."

Mr Williams said his report aims to make local government more effective and responsive: “The public sector in Wales is too complex. There are too many small organisations, too many partnerships and not enough clarity about roles and responsibilities."

This creates a maze for citizens, voluntary organisations and businesses, he said.

The commission thinks that annual savings of £60 to £80 million could be made within three years, albeit with an upfront cost of £100 million to the taxpayer.

New areas should be as coherent as possible, according to the report's authors - population sparsity, deprivation, the use of the Welsh language, council tax levels and economic growth patterns were all taken into account.

There is no proposal for a super-Gwent authority, with the commission saying that councils that serve too large an area would hamper how communities are represented democratically.

Mr Williams said that the recommendations may mean a reduction in the number of councillors, and said there were more councillors per head of population in Wales than in England and Scotland.

It says that reforms should be consistent with eligibility for so-called EU convergence funding – cash which Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen are eligible for.

Mr Williams said that issue was key in Gwent and diluting those funds couldn’t be risked by merging councils into larger organisations.

First minister Carwyn Jones said: “People across Wales rely heavily on the vital services delivered by the public sector every day. Change is inevitable and essential so that our public services can become more efficient, effective, accessible and responsive.

“I will now take time to consider the report in detail and respond in due course.”

Comments (10)

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2:20pm Mon 20 Jan 14

bobmech1 says...

If they emerge please put from new bridge down with Newport as Caerphilly doesn't hive a **** about the old islwyn borough
If they emerge please put from new bridge down with Newport as Caerphilly doesn't hive a **** about the old islwyn borough bobmech1

3:27pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Floppy backed says...

Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.
Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused. Floppy backed

3:37pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Mr Bump. says...

Floppy backed wrote:
Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.
Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system?
[quote][p][bold]Floppy backed[/bold] wrote: Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.[/p][/quote]Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system? Mr Bump.

3:41pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Mr Angry says...

Mr Bump. wrote:
Floppy backed wrote:
Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.
Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system?
Never let the facts get in the way of a good old public sector bash
[quote][p][bold]Mr Bump.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Floppy backed[/bold] wrote: Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.[/p][/quote]Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system?[/p][/quote]Never let the facts get in the way of a good old public sector bash Mr Angry

4:08pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Goat Man says...

Don't mind RIsca & Islwyn joining with the other Gwent counties I Just wish we could dump the robbing Rhymney Valley back into Glamorgan where it belongs !
Don't mind RIsca & Islwyn joining with the other Gwent counties I Just wish we could dump the robbing Rhymney Valley back into Glamorgan where it belongs ! Goat Man

9:49pm Mon 20 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

Mr Bump. wrote:
Floppy backed wrote:
Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.
Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system?
they go to the doctor say they are stressed (its the new bad back) then spend their time holidaying down the pub etc
[quote][p][bold]Mr Bump.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Floppy backed[/bold] wrote: Cant savings be made for the public sector by killing the 6 months full pay sick leave to 6 weeks???? Surely there must be a massive saving to be made? Why should tax payers be paying this as I know its abused.[/p][/quote]Surely they would need a sicknote after the first week. How can they abuse the system?[/p][/quote]they go to the doctor say they are stressed (its the new bad back) then spend their time holidaying down the pub etc scraptheWAG

9:50pm Mon 20 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

it wil never happen way to many noses in the trough
it wil never happen way to many noses in the trough scraptheWAG

11:50pm Mon 20 Jan 14

grumpyandopinionated says...

I don't know why they keep messing with it. Personally I think that newport, gwent and mon should be merged. The cost savings would be huge with all the shared services, any duplicated administration shed, the number of councilors reduced and just the 1 central hq. But you just know it wont happen logically. I mean does newport really need all its own gritters as these can be shared with other counties. They also need to build the incinerator, surely there is a big enough advancement in technology to reduce emissions. I really think that the council missed a trick on this one. As all thats happened now is that they have had to spend £850k on new bins to avoid the landfill tax.
I don't know why they keep messing with it. Personally I think that newport, gwent and mon should be merged. The cost savings would be huge with all the shared services, any duplicated administration shed, the number of councilors reduced and just the 1 central hq. But you just know it wont happen logically. I mean does newport really need all its own gritters as these can be shared with other counties. They also need to build the incinerator, surely there is a big enough advancement in technology to reduce emissions. I really think that the council missed a trick on this one. As all thats happened now is that they have had to spend £850k on new bins to avoid the landfill tax. grumpyandopinionated

1:00am Tue 21 Jan 14

Thinking heads says...

As your name serjests well behind the times we have got it is not going anywhere, So your stuck with the w.a.g.
I think it is time to say jest try and keep up?
BUT GOOD OR YOU FOR TRYING.
As your name serjests well behind the times we have got it is not going anywhere, So your stuck with the w.a.g. I think it is time to say jest try and keep up? BUT GOOD OR YOU FOR TRYING. Thinking heads

3:32am Tue 21 Jan 14

Whats the says...

grumpyandopinionated wrote:
I don't know why they keep messing with it. Personally I think that newport, gwent and mon should be merged. The cost savings would be huge with all the shared services, any duplicated administration shed, the number of councilors reduced and just the 1 central hq. But you just know it wont happen logically. I mean does newport really need all its own gritters as these can be shared with other counties. They also need to build the incinerator, surely there is a big enough advancement in technology to reduce emissions. I really think that the council missed a trick on this one. As all thats happened now is that they have had to spend £850k on new bins to avoid the landfill tax.
Opinionated maybe, but clearly not very educated. Read the news, they have are building an incinerator. This dosent help the fines for not recycling enough, other than a very small contribution from bottom ash. The cost of teh wheeled bins is much smaller than the incinerator, by many orders of magnitude. Anyway the amount councils can send to incineration is capped at 30%
[quote][p][bold]grumpyandopinionated[/bold] wrote: I don't know why they keep messing with it. Personally I think that newport, gwent and mon should be merged. The cost savings would be huge with all the shared services, any duplicated administration shed, the number of councilors reduced and just the 1 central hq. But you just know it wont happen logically. I mean does newport really need all its own gritters as these can be shared with other counties. They also need to build the incinerator, surely there is a big enough advancement in technology to reduce emissions. I really think that the council missed a trick on this one. As all thats happened now is that they have had to spend £850k on new bins to avoid the landfill tax.[/p][/quote]Opinionated maybe, but clearly not very educated. Read the news, they have are building an incinerator. This dosent help the fines for not recycling enough, other than a very small contribution from bottom ash. The cost of teh wheeled bins is much smaller than the incinerator, by many orders of magnitude. Anyway the amount councils can send to incineration is capped at 30% Whats the

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