Educated guess at Wales' councils reorganisation


We understand that there'll be no new lines on the map in the next round of local government re-organisation.

The existing councils are likely to be the building blocks and as a result any changes will be the result of a series of mergers between councils in the same health board and the police force areas.

So taking on board some of these principles, you could take an educated guess at some of the possibilities.

Under the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, there is Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Newport and Monmouthshire.

Under the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, there's Cardiff council and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Under Cwm Taf, there's RCT and Merthyr.

Under the ABMU Health Board, there's Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. Under Hywel Dda, there's Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

And under Betsi Cadwaladr, there's Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. Powys sits on its own.

Tribal loyalty

If these principles are followed we can expect variations within these groupings.

One of the interesting questions in all of this will be to what extent people feel a tribal loyalty to their particular local authorities. After all they are relatively young institutions.

The truth is that there may be more of a sense of attachment in some counties than others.

This what the Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire Stephen Crabb has said on his newsletter to constituents: "The year also started with reports that Welsh Government will soon reduce the number of councils in Wales.

"This would inevitably mean the disappearance of Pembrokeshire County Council as we know it.

"I have huge reservations about this. Local people fought hard to get Pembrokeshire back from the old Dyfed authority and the case for having our own local authority is as valid now as it was then.

Local allegiances

"It is important that the distinct local identities and specific needs of Wales's communities are protected and I will raise my concerns with the Welsh minister."

Inevitably this debate will pick up on all sorts of local allegiances.

On Radio Wales this morning we got a taste of that from the assembly member and former leader of Swansea council, Mike Hedges, talking about how people in Llanelli look towards Swansea and not Carmarthenshire, while the former leader of Bridgend, Jeff Jones, was speaking about how people look to Cardiff and not to the "jacks" of Swansea.

One other reflection. Thursday's Western Mail had a job advert for an £80,000-a-year position as the director of education at Blaenau Gwent council.

It just highlights the difficulties staff will face in this process.

On one level you'd have thought it would be difficult to recruit for a position like that when the organisation in its current form may cease to exist in a few years.

And yet at the same time, councils have crucial jobs to do and work can't come to a halt as a result of reorganisation.

Nick Servini Article written by Nick Servini Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 6. Council 'This is a difficult field to recruit into, & to preclude all those who were unable to speak Welsh would seriously impede recruitment.' Confirms that language before welfare of children, health, education etc. the scandal is pandering to 15% of the population.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7. an ambulance waiting outside a hospital for five hours while a man died in his chair in front of his wife. an utter disgrace and national shame. and CJ wants to spend his time in uganda & resolving rugby's problems. a return to welsh office control cannot make things any worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    @6 whilst even I admit the original wording was a bit off (quickly corrected)..the orchestrated attacks were only from the usual fervent individuals who have nothing to do with Pembroke whatsoever and spend all their time trawling the internet looking for any imagined slights against the Welsh language. I don't interfere with how pharmacies do business in Bangor so why should there interfere here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Pembrokeshire will always be Pembrokeshire! They tried to wipe us off the map once before because they consider our non-Welsh speaking history and culture, down here below the landsker, as some sort of dirty secret. Well in the words of Dafydd Iwan, Yma o hyd (We're still here)!! Oh the irony!

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    #18 If you live in Milford Haven, you will find colloquial Welsh rather less uiseful in business than a moderate fluency in Spanish. Given that the average journeyman S/worker has clients from a parish, it is surely not beyond the wit of management to assign workers to relevant areas, and clients to relevant workers.
    To insist that all social workers need Welsh is wilful nonsense.


Comments 5 of 140



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