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COUNTIES CHALLENGE WELSH REORGANISATION COSTS

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The cost of local government reorganisation in Wales will be much higher than predicted by Welsh Secretary David Hu...
The cost of local government reorganisation in Wales will be much higher than predicted by Welsh Secretary David Hunt according to the county councils, the Western Mail reports (p5).

The Assembly of Welsh Counties decided yesterday to continue the fight against their abolition. They argue unitary councils in Wales will be too small under Mr Hunt's plans, with populations as low as 30,000 in comparison with councils of 120,000 population in England.

Powys CC Chief Executive Alan Barnish said transitional costs of reorganisation would be at least £100 million and probably more than £150m. Consultants Touche Ross put the figure at £60m.

Mr Hunt's claim that transitional costs would be covered within seven years was wishful thinking, Mr Barnish said.
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