IT IS NOW quite clear that First Minister Carwyn Jones wants to push ahead with the Williams Commission reforms and reduce the number of local authorities in Wales.

Speaking in the Senedd yesterday he said the status quo is just not an option in Wales.

And he said the number of times the Assembly has had to intervene in the running of various departments in local authorities up and down Wales has merely served to strengthen the view that radical reform is needed.

We have said before we think that having 22 local authorities in Wales is unsustainable.

And we know there are a lot of people who agree with that.

But we still think there will be a reluctance among at least some local authorities themselves who see suggested mergers with either one or two neighbouring authorities as either unworkable or unpalatable for all sorts of reasons.

Some authorities are far more forward thinking than others and have gone much further down the path of innovation and reform than others. It will be difficult to bring such different working cultures together.

It will also be a hugely complex and, initially expensive, operation.

Mr Jones did not set out a timetable yesterday but we believe that he has now started out what will turn out to be a very long and winding road and it will not be without its pitfalls.