A TEAM of five advisors are to come into Blaenau Gwent council to help sort out the struggling authority, the Welsh Government has announced.

But the news came on a day that a damning letter emerged from the council’s leader, attacking the Welsh Government and warning councillors facing abolition may not help AMs campaign for election.

The Argus reported early on Thursday that the Welsh Government was expected to appoint advisors to help with the council’s financial problems.

This morning Lesley Griffiths, local government minister, confirmed the move, telling Assembly members she was “confident this will ensure the council has the best possible opportunity to manage its own recovery and put itself in a more sustainable position for the future.”

The advisors are:

- Sir Peter Rogers, former chief executive of Westminster City Council

- John Shultz, former chief executive of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

- John Maitland-Evans, former chief executive of Vale of Glamorgan County Council

- Derek Davies, former director of finance and corporate services, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

They will also include Carl Walters, who will provide expertise and skills on programme management, and on managing and implementing change.

Ms Griffiths said the advisors are “purely advisory” and have no authority to take decisions or to approve, amend or veto decision of the council, its councillors or officers.

“The team will provide support, challenge and advice to the senior management team and will be specifically focusing on the areas of short- term budget management and longer term financial planning; programme management and delivery,” she said.

Ms Griffiths previously told AMs that she would exercise her powers to provide the council with a “package of support” after the Wales Audit Office alleged that the council hadn’t done enough to address the difficult financial situation it’s predicted it will be in.

The council has to cut £10 million from its budget in 2014/15.

Advisors will begin work on November 4, with the support package ending at the end of January - it's hoped that by then the team will have put the council in a strong position to deal with its financial challenges this year and the next.

Meanwhile a leaked letter from Hedley McCarthy, reportedly sent to party colleagues, has ripped into Welsh Government policy saying Labour councillors “are unlikely to be Turkeys voting for Christmas”.

“The 2016 election will not have Labour councillors knocking doors with the Assembly candidate saying vote for Comrade Ianto Bach, he’s going to get rid of the local council," the letter reads.

Attacking the policy of former education minister Leighton Andrews, the leader said there was no serious evidence that small councils do not have the capacity to delivery effective education services.

He said that the move to appointed “boards of one sort of another”, for councils whose education departments are in special measures, from the commissioners appointed at Blaenau Gwent was an admission that the commission model had not worked.

A Welsh Government commission is currently looking at the question of reducing the number of councils, but Mr McCarthy warned doing that could be of “tremendous advantage to the Welsh Nationalists” he claimed.

He said: “Surely Labour are not in the business of giving power away, or are they?

“Wales is a small country with small communities and the more that the argument about councils being too small is put forward, the sooner someone will suggest Wales is too small for an Assembly.”

Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Tory Shadow Minister for Local Government, said: “These revelations give an insight into the debate going in the Labour Party about the impact that changing the delivery of local services would have, not on hard-pressed taxpayers or service users, but on the Labour Party itself and the jobs of its politicians.”

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: “The Welsh Labour Government is wholly committed to providing the best public services for the people of Wales, despite the budgetary challenges we face thanks to cuts passed down from the Tory government in Westminster.

“In reorganising the established system of Local Government, Welsh Labour are seeking to ensure that services improve for local people and the important role Local Authorities play in the provision of public services is both more efficient and more effective.”