ARGUS COMMENT: Number of Welsh councils will be cut
11:45am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Gwent news
ALL local authorities in this corner of south east Wales have warned for some time that the future is going to be very tough.
And the National Assembly yesterday confirmed their worst fears, for the coming year at least.
T he level of cuts needed was made all too apparent with the news that £25m will have to be slashed from budgets in our five local authority areas.
In an area like Blaenau Gwent a £4mcut represents a saving of 3.5 per cent per cent.
And, as all councils have pointed out, this is just the beginning of a very difficult few years.
Monmouthshire is already talking to its residents in a series of public meetings, partly to explain the tough times ahead but also to invite suggestions where money could be saved or services run differently.
This exercise has so far been well-received by residents and it may well be one which has to be copied elsewhere if councils are to avoid the backlash when some services are spared at the expense of others.
in the short term we will start to see more in the way of cross-authority department mergers.
But , in our view, in the long term there will be a reduction in the number of local authorities in Wales.
That will be a long drawn out and potentially painful process but one which we feel is unavoidable.
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