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WELSH LEADERS TELL MORGAN TO WREST POWER FROM QUANGOS

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Welsh council leaders want the Assembly to prove its commitment to partnership with local government by handing bac...
Welsh council leaders want the Assembly to prove its commitment to partnership with local government by handing back powers taken by the quangos.

Welsh Local Government Association leader Harry Jones welcomed the election of Rhodri Morgan to replace Alun Michael as first secretary.

But council leaders claimed the much-vaunted partnership between local government and the Assembly had not yet amounted to much.

'We've got the Partnership Council set up, but we need to see real partnership coming out of it, not a lecture from the first secretary telling us what he intends to do,' said City and County of Swansea leader Mike Hedges.

Neath Port Talbot CBC leader Noel Crowley agreed there had been little evidence of real partnership to date. 'We in local government want to see evidence coming from the Assembly of a true and equal partnership. We are the deliverers for the Assembly. We all represent the same people,' he said.

Lord mayor of Cardiff CC Russell Goodway said he hoped now to see the process of devolution continuing: 'If it's right for the relationship between London and Cardiff Bay, then of course it's right for the relationship between Cardiff Bay and local authorities. I am hoping to see an Assembly that will start taking over the quangos and start handing powers back to local government.'

Bridgend CBC leader Jeff Jones warned the Assembly would suffer the political problems associated with minority governments. He said Mr Morgan should 'take on the Taffia and the quangos'.

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