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Wales under threat of falling into a web effect of problems

25/07/2022

Plaid Cymru’s Local Government spokesperson has called on the new Labour government to give a clear strategic vision for their plans around council reorganisation, or risk a web effect of services destroying local accountability. 

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said that an array of services being shared and controlled across different geographical and political boundaries could create a confusing, bureaucratic and damaging system in Wales.

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Assembly Member claimed that a bit by bit approach to sharing services was slowly eroding local responsibility in Wales. 

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru’s Local Government, Transport and Communities spokesperson, said:

“Labour need to ensure that they have a long term strategic vision for Welsh communities so that they don’t risk slipping into a situation where cross council delivery creates chaos for frontline services.  There is a fear that making decisions on how services are delivered on a case by case approach, rather than outlining a more long term approach could create confusion around the accountability of local government.

“If education or social services are delivered in one local authority by a council or a number of councils, from a different part of Wales, who do residents take their complaints to?  Is it their local councillors or officials in another part of Wales? 

“As shared services across wide areas of Wales develop the web effect will become increasingly confusing and problematic for local people.  I think there is a real fear that we are going to end up with one large, entangled array of services with little local accountability.

“Labour won the election and so it is naturally their right in government to break up the workings of local authorities as they see fit.  However, it is important they outline a long term strategic vision for the way they wish to see local government work in the future.  Approaching reorganisation on a case by case basis may very well end up creating lasting difficulties in the future.”