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Tory-run council declares against merger

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Wales’ only Conservative-run council has declared its opposition to the merger planned for it in the country’s local government reorganisation process.

Minority Tory-run Monmouthshire CC rejected the idea of merging with Newport City Council, the latter having already rejected the proposal.

A Monmouthshire statement said the council felt the Welsh Government had failed to make “a robust business case” for the merger. It suggested the council would instead explore the creation of a combined authority along the lines of those set up in England.

The Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery, set up by the Welsh Government, reported in January that the present 22 councils were unsustainable and should be reduced through mergers to between 10 and 12.

Wales’ public services minister Leighton Andrews (pictured) has this month warned councils that if they do not produce plans for voluntary mergers by the end of November, “we will merge them”.

He added that some of his Labour colleagues thought as few as six councils would be appropriate.

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