ERS Cymru: Action on council cooperation welcome – but must go hand in hand with election reform plans

Posted on the 20th March 2018

  • Statement from Electoral Reform Society Cymru for immediate release, 20th March 2018
  • Spokespeople are available for interview. For more information, contact [email protected] or 07773555390

Responding to the Welsh Government’s Green Paper on Local Government in Wales [1], Jess Blair, Director of ERS Cymru, said: 

“Welsh local authorities and the Welsh Government have been at a stalemate for a number of years over the future of local government in Wales. After so much stalling, the government is right to act to ensure we see progress on this issue.

“But in reshaping Welsh councils, we would urge all parties to not forget it is local people who are at the centre of this issue.

“Reducing the number of authorities to encourage regional working must not come at the cost of local democracy. Town and community councils must be empowered through this process. and given more powers and resources to represent the people they serve.

“There is also a real risk that the issue of mergers will dominate the local government debate yet again – undermining positive measures for democracy such as the extension of the voting age and improving our electoral system.

“This cannot be allowed to happen, and we would urge all parties to keep their eye on the real goal: building a democracy fit for the 21st century.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43472521

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