Posted: Thu 16th Oct 2014

Feisty Flintshire Councillors lay into Leighton Andrews over his "Fewer councillors" pledge.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 16th, 2014

Angry Deeside based Flintshire County Councillor’s clashed on twitter yesterday with the new public services minister Leighton Andrews.

The exchanges came after a story had been published on the BBC’s website which preceded an interview aired on Wednedsay evenings Wales Report.

The public services minister reiterated his pledge to have “fewer council leaders, fewer chief executives, fewer council cabinets and fewer councillors”

Councillor Helen Brown cabinet member for Housing and deputy leader of  the Independents at Flintshire County Council opened the impromptu Twitter debate:

Leighton Andrews the new public services minister, took up office in the recent cabinet reshuffle, and its fairly clear where his priorities lie, top of the list is public sector reform, and of course delivering the Williams recommendations, which would see the number of councils in Wales reduce from the current 22 to to 10,11 or 12.

Andrews responded to Councillor Brown:  

Councillor Brown replied;

She continued with a couple of other tweets including “do you listen to public opinion?” a man of few words when it comes to twitter Mr Andrews replied: “yep.” He went on to say:

Councillor Brown then went on to point out that Flintshire voted against the creation of a Welsh Assembly back in 1997 by a hefty 62.8%

Screenshot from 2014-10-16 10:22:43

The pair batted the vote thing around a bit but to be fair it didn’t really go anywhere.

Mr Andrews speaking on BBC Wales Tonight warned councils if they do not come up with proposals to merge voluntarily, mergers will be imposed, voluntary proposals would not be accepted if they were neither “viable nor sustainable”.

As we all know Wrexham Council have no intention of merging with Flintshire County Council despite the later reaching out and asking for ‘talks’ to take place.

Mr Andrews went onto say;

“The current number of councillors costs Wales more than £21m per year, the Williams Commission proposals on local government reform would cut that bill by a quarter to around £15m”

“We understand these are very difficult times for people out there, these are very difficult times for people to be councillors, but the proposals that we will come forward with mean fewer council leaders, fewer chief executives, fewer council cabinets and fewer councillors”, he told the BBC.

Reflecting on the interview Labour Councillor for Sealand and Flintshire County Council Cabinet member for Social Services tweeted.

Which, as you can imagine sparked a bit of debate again on the twitter.

Overall it was good entertainment and we hope to see much more twitter passion from our councillors directed towards Welsh Government ministers, its great viewing!

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