John Hopkins, planning & environment spokesperson for the WLGA, said:
Whilst accepting the need to continually improve service delivery, the association is extremely doubtful that a substantial reduction can be introduced without deterioration in service. The recent fiasco in Eastern England when contractors failed to grit the roads demonstrates that big is not necessarily beautiful, nor does it guarantee effective service. The insistence of the assembly government in promoting a single preferred solution raises the spectre of a fait accompli rather than an open consultation.
Mr Hopkins added:
'It would appear that the Welsh Assembly Government is being driven by concerns about cost, yet there is a risk that they will fall into the trap of knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Maintenance of our trunk roads is an important factor in the local economy of Wales - we do not want to see these jobs and expertise leaked from Wales nor to see traffic control reduced to a series of gridlocks'.
This is an important consultation. A deadline of 29 August, requiring local authorities to complete their deliberations whilst the assembly is on their summer holiday, does not imply any real serious intention to listen.