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Welsh councils and the National Assembly must build a successful partnership if they are to achieve their ambitions...
Welsh councils and the National Assembly must build a successful partnership if they are to achieve their ambitions for the people of Wales, first secretary Rhodri Morgan has said.

Speaking to Welsh councillors, Mr Morgan said those ambitions included improving education and health services as well as improving wealth and living standards in poor areas of the country.

He singled out the Welsh local government partnership council and partnership plan as examples of the 'Assembly's commitment to working with local government on the basis of mutual respect'.

'We have a chance to create a more consistent and co-operative way of doing business,' he said.

'We must aim to rid ourselves of the conflict in the system to ensure people and organisations work with each other, not against each other.'

Mr Morgan said it was pressure from Wales that secured a duty on councils to prepare community strategies, establishing the principle that areas of the country should work in partnership.

He emphasised the importance of partnership in making a success of European funding: 'It is not the funding itself that will make the difference, but high-quality projects which will bring people together, and which will ensure they have more of a chance of succeeding than if they do things on their own.'

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