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WELSH COMMUNITY BODIES CONDEMN REORGANISATION

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Community councils in Wales have condemned local government reorganisation for doing little to improve local democr...
Community councils in Wales have condemned local government reorganisation for doing little to improve local democracy.

Lyn Llewellyn, director of the Welsh Association of Community and Town Councils, described reorganisation as a great disappointment. 'The hopes and aspirations of enhanced powers involving service provision, where appropriate, and greater consultation and influence on local affairs (were) largely ignored,' she told the association's annual conference last week.

Ms Llewellyn also regretted that reorganisation had gone hand-in-hand with a reduction in elected members to a number below that of directly appointed members of quangos in Wales.

Paul Griffiths, head of corporate affairs at the Welsh Local Government Association, promised the conference that unitary local government would build on new government guidance on relationships between principal and local councils.

This suggests that local authorities draw up with local councils individual schemes for identifying and expressing the needs of local people. 'We will be that local strategic hub which brings together all organisations which work in the community,' he promised.

But delegates later approved a motion that the Welsh secretary replace this guidance with statutory directions to local authorities. The motion was proposed by Margaret Griffiths, chairman of Pontyclun Community Council and Mr Griffiths' wife.

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