Monday 20 January 2014

The Williams Report - Carmarthenshire

The much anticipated Williams Report has just been published and can be found here although I'm sure there will be plenty of media comment and endless expert analysis throughout the coming days. The report recommends the reorganisation of local government (and health boards and police authorities) in Wales and to merge the current twenty two local authorities to form roughly half that number.

The anticipated merger of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion doesn't appear in the list of 'minimum' urgent measures but appears as more of an 'additional' option. The merger of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire however, does appear in the urgent list.

Whether this is because no one really wants anything to do with Carmarthenshire Council is anyone's guess although the report identifies that the merger of the three councils would, geographically, be 'very large and diverse' and 'delivering services across such an area and generating fair and effective democratic governance would be challenging. It might require some form of lower-tier structure to ensure effective local delivery and responsiveness'

Back in 1974 the three counties became Dyfed County Council with a myriad of smaller district councils, it was split back up into the three authorities again in 1996. Whether or not Carmarthenshire will stand alone or merge with the other two remains to be seen but, given that the headquarters of the old Dyfed County Council were in Carmarthen, what we don't want is an extension of the current Empire and an 'annexation' of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, and neither, I'm sure, do they.
Anyway, it doesn't look like I'll have to change the name of this blog just yet.

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