MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has spoken out in support of Monmouthshire County Council’s response to the Welsh Government’s White Paper on reforming local government.
While sharing the Government’s vision to make Wales a better place and improve the lives of people now and in the future, the county council has rejected proposals of merging councils as proposed in the White Paper. Instead, the council urges the Government to consider an alternative proposal put forward by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to create four combined authorities which would be responsible for key services such as transport and health, while retaining the current 22 councils.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ramsay said:
“Newport Council has already resoundingly rejected a merger with Monmouthshire and there appears to be little evidence from past reorganisations that substantial cost savings could be made through amalgamation. I agree with Monmouthshire County Council that the WLGA’s alternative solution is the best way of delivering a level of reform whilst driving forward the aspirations of local authorities, Wales’ Government and the wider community.
“This combined authority model appears to be working well in areas across England and is being seen as a sustainable and forward looking solution to the challenges facing local government.
“Adopting this alternative solution is in my view the best way of achieving the Government’s vision of a Wales that is more prosperous, healthy and a great place to live.”