Wales politics

Welsh Labour to discuss council mergers

Council services
Image caption Council boundaries in Wales were last changed in 1996

Welsh Labour could decide at the weekend how many councils it wants as part of reformed local government across Wales, says the first minister.

Carwyn Jones has called for a substantial reduction in Wales' 22 local authorities.

The party's executive committee is due to discuss the future of councils when it meets on Saturday in Cardiff.

In a report in January, a Welsh government commission recommended the number of councils should be halved.

Any agreement will need to be rubber stamped by the cabinet of the Welsh government but ministers will need some form of cross-party support at the assembly to force through changes.

In the meantime, Carwyn Jones is encouraging councils to look at merging voluntarily.

The talks will come two days after council leaders gather in Llandudno for their annual conference.

Mr Jones renewed his criticism of them during his monthly news conference in Cardiff on Monday saying too many of the existing 22 local authorities were too small to hold on to quality staff.

The first minister has been involved in talks with the other parties to try to find agreement.

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