Monmouthshire rejects merger with Newport council
Councillors in Monmouthshire have said "no" to merging with neighbouring Newport council.
Members decided a strong enough business case for the union had not been made following a three-hour debate.
Rejecting Welsh government proposals for the move, the local authority said it would explore other business models instead.
Monmouthshire leader Peter Fox said they wanted to explore "other options" that could preserve local democracy and accountability.
Instead, both he and the chief executive will be granted powers to discuss ideas with partners for future models.
Mr Fox said: "Monmouthshire County Council recognises that some reform of local government is needed.
"However, it was agreed at our council meeting today that we didn't believe that merging with neighbouring councils was in the best interest of the people of Monmouthshire."