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Council mergers: Labour plucks another number out of ‘thin air’

Commenting on latest comments made by Labour’s public services minister this week, ahead of Friday’s voluntary merger deadline – in which he told the BBC that senior Labour figures would like to see ‘six’ councils in Wales – Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:

“Another figure plucked out of thin air and yet more inconsistency in Labour’s position.

“On the one hand, Labour’s First Minister says the Williams commission report should be the driver for change. On the other, Labour’s councils Minister issues a thinly veiled threat.

“Leighton Andrews has undermined his boss and his latest scare tactics will do nothing for confidence in local government.

“Good leadership is required, along with more information on the financial incentives he’s suggested exist.

“Welsh councils – already in chaos thanks to Labour’s tough financial settlement – need support and guidance, not this mistaken approach.

“Councils that can prove they can merge voluntarily – and provide evidence of the benefits to communities and frontline services – should be properly supported.”