Here we go again, Council merger plans back on table
The reorganisation of Councils is back on the agenda of Labour at Cardiff Bay. Minister for Local Government Alun Davies has just put out a rehash of the proposals first suggested by Leighton Andrews which would see RCT merge with Bridgend and Merthyr.
When they were last proposed the plans, which would see the 22 councils in Wales merged to form just 10, were met with huge disapproval from across the political divide and were put to one side. Mr Andrews subsequently lost his Rhondda seat in the 2016 election.
RCT Lib Dem Campaign Manager Karen Roberts says there will be no less of an outcry this time:
"Absolutely no thought at all has gone into this - the proposals are exactly the same as before, just a random throwing together of existing local authorities.
"RCT is already one of the biggest local authority areas in Wales, more than big enough, in our opinion, to warrant remaining as a stand-alone authority if they insist on taking the lazy option and merely look at existing boundaries. If it is joined with Merthyr and Bridgend then we risk losing even more services from the area. We have already lost health services to Prince Charles and other services such as the magistrates' court and Police services.
"We agree that there are currently too many councils in Wales, some of them far too small, such as Merthyr. However, the Labour Minister should be looking at more innovative solutions. The Boundary Commission should be tasked with drawing up new boundaries based on geography, population and economic factors."
The Labour party are already at odds over the proposals, with Labour Councillors launching scathing attacks on their Cardiff Bay colleagues at the recent Council meeting where the reorganisation was discussed.
The proposals are once again out to consultation with responses required by 12 June. The consultation can be found here.