Intervention in troubled Isle of Anglesey CC looks set to draw to a close as the Welsh government begins to withdraw commissioners from the council.
Two of the five commissioners sent to oversee the running of the authority are to be decommissioned while the remainder are all to work part time from now on, Welsh local government minister Carl Sargeant announced on Tuesday.
Mr Sargaent said: “I am delighted that my commissioners and the auditor general are of the view that the councillors may be ready to resume control and are confident that sustainable improvement will continue.
“The council now has in place a high-calibre senior management team and is nearing the point where it is capable of managing its affairs without external direction.”
Councillors are to regain powers which had been handed to commissioners in March 2011 although commissioners will remain on hand and will have the power to override any decision which goes against the advice of statutory officers. The new arrangements are due to stay in place until the election.
Ministers intervened in the authority following a damning report from auditors of how fractious politics were impacting on staff-member relations and putting service standards at risk.
Mr Sargeant said: “If the council reverts to its old ways, I will not hesitate to act”. However, he added: “If councillors prove able to exercise control during that period, and if next year’s elections yield a stable administration within the council, I will bring my intervention to a close. That would mark the end of a long and often turbulent journey.”
The commissioners to remain on a part time basis are Alex Aldridge, Byron Davies and Mick Giannasi. Mr Sargeant thanked Margaret Foster and Gareth Jones for their work.