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WLGA EMBARKS ON NEW POWER-SHARING FUTURE

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Alex Aldridge of Flintshire CC has been elected the new leader of the Welsh Local Government Association ...
Alex Aldridge of Flintshire CC has been elected the new leader of the Welsh Local Government Association

Mr Aldridge will be leading the new power-sharing WLGA, which will see all political groups contributing to the political management and direction of the body.

He said:

'The WLGA is embarking on a new bold power sharing approach, with all parties and all authorities playing an active and influential role within the organisation. I therefore look forward to working with my new colleagues across Welsh local government and with the Welsh Assembly Government, to ensure that local government is best able to respond to and meet the needs and expectations of Wales' diverse communities.

'It is an enormous privilege to be asked to represent Welsh local government on the national stage. As a councillor, it is always a great honour to serve the local people in your community, however, it is an even greater honour and responsibility to have been entrusted to speak on behalf of all communities and all authorities across Wales.

'Welsh local government faces testing times, we face a growing expectation of better, and more, public services during a period of financial uncertainty and an unheralded drive towards efficiency and improvement. One of my initial tasks will be to press for a speedy conclusion to the new inquiry on local government funding and I will be continuing to call for greater powers for councils to generate income locally in order to take pressure off the council tax payers.

'As WLGA leader I will have an all-Wales remit and will represent all authorities to the very best of my ability, however, there is a touch of additional pride in that North Wales will now have a stronger voice at the heart of governance in Wales'.

Mr Aldridge also invited first minister Rhodri Morgan to meet with the WLGA coordinating committee to discuss the recent announcements regarding the future of Wales' quangos, specifically the potential for further devolution and the return of some powers and funding to local government.

Following her appointment as the WLGA's first female and Independent presiding officer, Meryl Gravell, leader of Carmarthenshire CC said:

'I am enormously proud to be elected as the WLGA's presiding officer. The WLGA has always prided itself on its ability to form consensus between authorities and across the political groups. However, never will this be as important as we now move into a historical new era where consensus is manifested through power sharing arrangements between all parties and across all authorities.

'My role as presiding officer will be critical in maintaining this consensus, however, I am confident that with the clear commitment shown today from all quarters, the WLGA will continue to grow as an body central to the effective governance of Wales'.

Notes

Alex Aldridge (56) isleader of Flintshire County Council. He represents the Flint Coleshill Ward and has been a member of the council since 1995. Before that he served on Clwyd CC from 1991 and is also a member of Flint Town Council. A former Corus worker at Shotton, he was also a previous chair person of the then Clwyd Fire Service and its successor, the North Wales Fire Authority.

Meryl Gravell is leader of Carmarthenshire CC and has been leader since 1999. Ms Gravell was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to the community and was awarded 'Welsh Woman of the Year in the Community' in 1997. Ms Gravell has always worked for her community and is particularly keen to engage young people in the democratic process. She is also a retired justice of the peace.

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