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“Mandate needed” for local government reform

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Plaid Cymru to hold debate on Williams Commission report

Plaid Cymru will this week hold an Assembly debate on the report of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery, or the Williams Commission.

Plaid Cymru welcomed the commission’s report as a step forward in the debate about the future of local, national and regional government. Since the publication of the report the party has been consulting internally on the way forward. There is support within the party for change, but the party will argue that this change must be done on a comprehensive basis that includes the integration of health and social care.

Plaid Cymru will state that local government reorganization requires a mandate from the Welsh electorate, and that each party should bring forward a detailed vision in its 2016 manifesto.

Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Elin Jones AM said:

“Plaid Cymru welcomed the Williams report but has resolved, following internal discussion, that the terms of reference were too restrictive and have not dealt with health and social care. Our concern now is that the Labour Government is focusing on voluntary mergers rather than properly costed and detailed reform of the whole system.

“Our debate this week will call for detailed proposals to be brought forward by the major political parties during the 2016 elections. A mandate is needed for comprehensive and sustainable reform that is not rushed and is long lasting. This mandate should be acted upon in the next Assembly term. We are in the process of formulating an agreed Plaid Cymru vision for public service reform, but have already reached agreement internally on several key principles which we will discuss in our debate.

“We will discuss a number of important themes in our debate which we feel have been neglected thus far. The status and role of the town and community layer of government becomes more important, if there is a move to fewer local authorities.”

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