Our views on local government reorganisation in Wales

  • We were asked to respond to the recent report of the Williams Commission on the proposed reorganisation of public services in Wales. One of the proposals is that Newport and Monmouthshire should be merged to become one local authority.

    We have written to Newport West Constituency Labour Party arguing that a totally different approach to reorganisation was needed at this stage.

     

    220px-Newportciviccentre

    Newport should continue to exist as a unitary authority in its own right

    but could collaborate in an innovative way with neighbouring authorities in Gwent, Cardiff and South East Wales as a whole. This is our summary:

     

    “In many respects, the Report follows the basic same pattern as earlier

    reforms of local government reorganisation. Perhaps it is time to change this

    and take a more holistic approach to this subject.

     

    “Rather than looking at formally merging existing boundaries, perhaps we

    should be thinking along more regional lines. Perhaps a better solution to

    problems facing us at the moment might be a regional Federation/Alliance

    with areas which we have common interests i.e. Cardiff. Both cities have

    industrial, cultural and historical links. In this respect the report prepared by

    Professor Simon Gibson “The City of Newport … on the Rise” brings the

    conflict between urban and rural areas into sharp focus given that the report

    recommends, inter alia, the establishment of a National Centre for Cyber

    Security in the City. If Professor Gibson’s ideas materialise then it is hard to

    see how a vibrant modern technological Newport would sit easily with rural

    Monmouthshire.

     

    “We wonder if the Commission aren’t seeing the bigger picture. The present

    record on collaboration between authorities doesn’t seem to have achieved

    much, and we suspect the Williams report is correct in making that

    observation. But if there was a city region, centred on Cardiff that might make

    more sense. It would resolve the current problem of having too many local

    authorities, and there could be a more intelligent approach to collaboration.”

    To see our full response click here


    March 2nd, 2014 | Caerleon Labour | Comments Off on Our views on local government reorganisation in Wales |

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