Powys and Ceredigion to share more council services

Image caption, Councillors met at Powys council's headquarters in Llandrindod Wells

Two neighbouring councils have unveiled plans for closer ties to try to cut costs and maintain services.

The move could see Powys and Ceredigion councils using the same engineers and architects for building projects.

Councillors from the two authorities met in Llandrindod Wells for the first meeting of a joint committee, set up to oversee the collaboration.

The councils are already working on a project to turn food leftovers into renewable energy or compost.

Powys council is also working closely with Powys Local Health Board (LHB) to cut costs and improve service delivery.

They are to combine a director's job, with responsibility for social services, with the chief executive's role at the LHB.

Powys and Ceredigion councils said they wanted to jointly deliver engineering, transport and property services.

The move has been welcomed by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).

Coun Ray Quant of Ceredigion council, who chaired the meeting, said: "This partnership between Ceredigion and Powys is based on firm foundations as the two councils have worked together very successfully to deliver the Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.

"Overseeing a range of services jointly demonstrates how central Wales has responded positively to the challenges set by the Welsh Assembly Government for local authorities to collaborate within their spatial areas."

He added: "The councils are keen to explore any opportunities to extend the partnership with other public sector organisations including the Welsh assembly themselves."

Coun Geraint Hopkins, of Powys council, said the the two authorities shared "many common characteristics reflecting the very special rural nature of central Wales".

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