Posted: Fri 19th Sep 2014

Council Mergers: Flintshire seek urgent ‘high level’ talks with Ministers as Wrexham proposes to go it alone.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 19th, 2014

Wrexham Council appear to have poured cold water on any idea of a merger between it and Flintshire County Council, well for now at least!  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Council broke its silence on any proposed merger,as reported by our sister site Wrexham.com  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A key recommendation within the Williams Report, published earlier this year, was half  the number of councils within Wales through the merging of Councils.  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Neil Rogers said that Wrexham is a place of new ideas and thinking and had a lot to be proud of when it came to innovation and its vision for the future. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Cllr Rodgers report titled “What we believe is best for Wrexham”  which does not include any merger plans with Flintshire Council will go before a full council meeting on the 24 September ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In the report Cllr Rogers states: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Members agreed unanimously that the County of Wrexham should remain in its current form as it is large enough to stand alone. This is what we believe to be in the best interests of the people, the place and the economy. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Several of the points in the consultation documents (Welsh Government White Paper Reforming Local Government) simply do not apply in Wrexham. Wrexham town is at the centre of the county and is the natural hub for the surrounding areas and a commercial centre for the region. Our performance against our Council Plan shows we are performing well for the people we serve” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire County Council held a full debate on the Welsh Government White Paper Reforming Local Government on Tuesday 9 September.  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Leader of Flintshire County Council, Cllr Aaron Shotton has welcomed the appointment of the new Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM and has formally written to him and the Minister for Finance, Jane Hutt AM, asking them both to urgently meet a high level delegation from the Council to discuss what assistance is available to enable the protection of Local Government services in Flintshire, in return for discussions around a voluntary merger with Wrexham County Borough Council. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Cllr Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire County Council said. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Council was united in prioritising the protection of local services to the communities of Flintshire and was mindful that if services could be protected, and costs reduced through mergers of services between Flintshire and Wrexham then it would be in the public interest to explore the benefits of a merger.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Council was concerned that there needed to be more explanation from Welsh Government over the costs and benefits of their proposal that Flintshire merge with Wrexham, and the transitional and longer term funding commitments to local government. Without such information there was insufficient evidence on which to make a judgement on early adoption.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Council passed the following resolution proposed by Council Leader Aaron Shotton:-……. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This Council seeks an urgent meeting with both the Welsh Government Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Finance to discuss what transitional finance and support is available to assist the Council in its quest to protect Local Government services now and into the future, in return for an early adoption merger of Flintshire County Council and Wrexham County Borough Council.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Once the proposed meeting with Welsh Government Ministers has taken place the Council would be in a more informed position to weigh up the benefits and risks of the option of early adoption. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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