Islwyn MP Chris Evans gives warning over council shake-up
WALES is talking constantly about constitutional issues people don’t care about, a Valleys MP has warned.
Labour Islwyn MP Chris Evans has suggested the Welsh Government is too focused over how Wales is governed, and that the constitutional chatter will turn Wales inward in a time of increasing globalisation.
His comments to the Argus come after the Williams Commission proposed reducing the number of local authorities in Gwent from five to two.
In an interview with the Argus Mr Evans said he agreed with the concerns of Torfaen MP Paul Murphy that council shake-ups prove costly.
He said: “We have to ask ourselves as Paul did, is this the best use of our money?
“Would that money better suited on job creation programmes rather than reorganisation?”
He said Wales gets bogged down in constitutional issues.
“This has been the frustration I’ve had – we talk constantly about constitutional things rather than the real bread and butter issues which are concerning people day to day,” he said.
He suggested money that could be spent on a possible future referendum on income tax would be better spent on health and education.
“We need to get back down to something which Otto von Bismarck called years ago Realpolitik – the Realpolitik here is the cost of living,” Mr Evans said.
The Argus asked if he thought the focus on constitutional issues in Cardiff Bay has meant that the Welsh Government has lost its focus on education and health.
“There’s too much focus on constitutional issues,” he said. “The vast majority writing to me are writing about health, education and transportation issues.
“They are not writing to me about the Silk Commission or the Barnett formula.”
Mr Evans warned that “globalisation is not going to stop suddenly because we’ve got extra powers”. “We can be inward, we can be closed or we can be open,” he said.
“I think when we talk about constitutions we turn inward.”
Meanwhile, Blaenau Gwent leader Hedley McCarthy told followers on Facebook that a council reorganisation could hit morale as services jockey for position.
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