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Council merger 'scare tactics' should be clarified

The Shadow Local Government minister today called on a Labour minister to name the senior Labour figures who he says want just SIX Welsh authorities after the on-going reorganisation process.

Labour’s public services minister recently made the comments during BBC Wales’ Sunday Politics show. Taking questions in the Senedd for the first time since his appearance on the programme, Leighton Andrews today reiterated his comments, claiming there are ‘several’ Labour members who want just six authorities.

He declined to name a single one of them.

Welsh Conservatives have previously slammed the remarks, labelling them scare tactics designed to prompt a response from councils.

Janet Finch-Saunders, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:

“The Labour minister should clarify his remarks and explain exactly who in Labour wants just six authorities.

“If not, he should admit he simply plucked another number out of thin air in his usual attempts to bully and scare.

“Labour’s own First Minister says the Williams commission report should be the driver for change. Yet here we are facing claims a bunch of senior Labour figures think entirely differently.

“It’s another example of the ineffective Labour leadership that has blighted local government in Wales for years.

“Good leadership is desperately required in this process – particularly at a time when authorities are not only dealing with the prospect of forced mergers – but also Labour’s extremely tough financial settlement.”