9:59am Friday 24th January 2014 in Letters
READING the news about proposed Welsh local government re-organisation, it comes as no big surprise.
It was quite clear the present structure was problematic, with many councils being too small or under-resourced.
However, in your Editorial today (21/1) you point out some potential problems.
Although the timescale given seems “tight”, re-organisation is long overdue and must be processed.
The suggestion of combining Newport and Monmouthshire is sensible to unite the M4 Corridor councils.
It is not simply an argument of name change, and maybe Torfaen should be included in this group.
Prior to 1974 Newport’s status as a county borough enabled them to administer all services. After, their functions were reduced, with the coming of Gwent County Council, who took over major services like education covering all the county.
Then in 1996 Gwent CC was abolished with the advent of the current unitary authorities.
All sorts of organisational problems were encountered, and now we have hundreds of councillors and dozens of highly paid staff.
Whatever the snags are, change is badly needed for the provision of effective services for larger populations.
Hopefully, the reduction in staffing and salaries will be substantial with a more user-friendly approach to the people.
Jim Dyer Stockton Road Newport
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