'Veil of secrecy' surrounds council merger Bill
Welsh Conservatives have criticised a ‘veil of secrecy’ surrounding the Local Government Bill, which would pave the way for Labour’s council mergers in Wales.
Originally due back in the Senedd last week, Labour ministers pulled the Bill from the agenda after it became clear they’d lose the vote.
In the Senedd today (Wednesday), Labour’s Public Services Minister refused to say what conversations he’d had with opposition parties, ahead of the vote going back on the agenda next week.
Amendments tabled by the Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Local Government – Janet Finch-Saunders AM - would ensure local residents get the opportunity to approve proposed council mergers, via a referendum.
The Assembly Member for Aberconwy said:
“This stop-start vote is shrouded in a veil of secrecy. Labour ministers don’t want local people to have a say and they’re scrabbling around to make sure they never do.
“Communities right across the country deserve to have a say in Labour’s costly plans to reorganise local government.
“Where councils can obtain local backing and demonstrate a merger would benefit frontline services and save money, they have the full backing and support of Welsh Conservatives.
“Councils should not be forced to merge and communities should not be forced to endure Labour’s marker-pen assault on Welsh counties.”