Council tax could rise without council mergers - warning

South Wales Argus: WARNING: Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said there 'are enormous costs' in not having change WARNING: Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said there 'are enormous costs' in not having change

RATE-PAYERS could face higher council tax bills and poorer services if Wales’ councils are not re-organised, the first minister has warned.

Carwyn Jones expressed support for proposals for council mergers set by the Williams Commission, and said some councils are exploring merging early.

Under the proposals, Newport and Monmouthshire would become a single authority, with the other three Valleys councils forming a single entity.

Top Gwent Labour figures have questioned the potential cost of a council shake-up. But Mr Jones said yesterday: “There are enormous costs in not having change.

“That’s in the terms of quality service delivery, education, potentially large council tax rises, and the fact that you have some local authorities that just struggle on a yearly basis.”

Labour is in a minority in the Assembly and would need opposition support to get any mergers through.

Mr Jones said the Liberal Democrats won’t agree anything without proportional representation. The Tories are generally in agreement but have issues over some council boundaries, while Plaid had yet to form a view and is “open minded”.

But he said the chances of getting a bill through the Assembly before elections in 2016 “are very small indeed”.

“I want to be in a position before the summer where there’s a general agreement about what the map should look like,” he said.

He added: “It’s important to consider whether there are strong arguments for altering potential mergers.”

Comments (5)

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12:44pm Tue 18 Feb 14

theviking666 says...

Does he not realise, the council tax is going up, before the merging of councils, and services are declining. The cocoon world of Cardiff bay is working well.
Does he not realise, the council tax is going up, before the merging of councils, and services are declining. The cocoon world of Cardiff bay is working well. theviking666
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

whatintheworld says...

i can 100% guarantee that we'll see council tax rises as well as the merger.
i can 100% guarantee that we'll see council tax rises as well as the merger. whatintheworld
  • Score: 3

1:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

p stani says...

Even poorer services, thought that would be impossible, even by NCC standards.
Even poorer services, thought that would be impossible, even by NCC standards. p stani
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Realist UK says...

And they want to elect more members to the Welsh Government. You couldn't make this up.
And they want to elect more members to the Welsh Government. You couldn't make this up. Realist UK
  • Score: 3

10:59am Wed 19 Feb 14

varteg1 says...

Does Wales really need to be run so fractionally?

The population all told is hardly larger than Greater Manchester with one overall authority,

If the Assembly has to come to something, not that I am sure it ever truly will, maybe it should do away with all Councils and run the place itself on similar lines to the other major conurbation across the UK.

22 authorities mean 22 set of bureaucracies, with all that implies, but I suppose if the Assembly were to take over running Wales, they would all stay in place, so in effect nothing would really change.
Does Wales really need to be run so fractionally? The population all told is hardly larger than Greater Manchester with one overall authority, If the Assembly has to come to something, not that I am sure it ever truly will, maybe it should do away with all Councils and run the place itself on similar lines to the other major conurbation across the UK. 22 authorities mean 22 set of bureaucracies, with all that implies, but I suppose if the Assembly were to take over running Wales, they would all stay in place, so in effect nothing would really change. varteg1
  • Score: 0

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