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WLGA'S JOINT STRATEGY BODY SET FOR JULY

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The first meeting of the new Partnership Council of local authority and Welsh Assembly representatives is to take p...
The first meeting of the new Partnership Council of local authority and Welsh Assembly representatives is to take place in July.

The Welsh Local Government Association views the 20-strong Partnership Council, set up at its suggestion, as a key forum for influencing the Assembly's strategy.

Alun Michael, Labour leader in the Assembly elections, this week said: 'Its existence is the starting point, not the finishing point. It's what we do within that Partnership Council that matters.'

WLGA chief executive Colin Jones said one of the key tasks for local government in the very early days of the Partnership Council would be to influence decisions on the next spending round.

The Assembly is expected to review spending priorities during the summer and autumn. Decisions on dividing the all-Wales spending block will be made by late November.

Councils will also be seeking to exert influence on the work of the Assembly through its regional and subject committees and through individual elected representatives. In addition, they will continue to be involved on specific task groups, such as the Welsh Office/WLGA best value project group.

Mr Jones said the WLGA had worked hard to develop a solid policy platform. The task ahead now was essentially 'a selling job', he said.

'We need to clearly demonstrate that local government is interested in the big issues which Wales faces.'

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