Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Assembly must not be steamrollered into accepting council mergers

First Minister Carwyn Jones has called on his Labour Party to reach a conclusion on the Williams Commission proposals by the end of this March and has urged other parties to fall into line.

Liberal Democrat local government spokesman, South Wales West AM Peter Black indicated the party would be unwilling to support it without concessions to his party, particularly around the voting system. “For me the biggest surprise very quickly the First Minister and other members of the Labour frontbench were moving to try and get a cross-party consensus on this,” he said. “What we have in front of us is, in my view, a Labour government Commission, a Labour government report and one which is owned exclusively by Labour Ministers.

“I think if he needs to talk to other parties there needs to be some concessions to our views as to how this should be taken forward. I very much regret the implication, I think, that this report needs to be accepted wholesale and has to be swallowed by us as it is written.”

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