ANGLESEY councillors’ return to power took a step closer after the council’s commissioners recommended reducing their intervention in the island’s affairs.
The commissioners’ latest quarterly report recommends Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant reduce their role as they “feel increasingly confident that a corner has been turned”in the council’s leadership.
Commissioner Mick Giannasi said the report shows evidence of substantial progress and a “stable platform upon which to build the future.”
He added: “There will always be a risk that the problems of the past could re-emerge, but we do believe that the council as a body is now more cohesive, and there is clear evidence of a growing willingness to challenge inappropriate behaviour.
“On that basis, members deserve a chance to prove themselves.”
Commissioners also reported “satisfactory” progress against all 10 of their corporate governance themes, including aspects of accountability, strengthening the corporate centre, better community engagement and improved partnership working.
Commissioners recommended earlier this year that Mr Sargeant should observe the conduct of councillors in forming a new administration after the 2012 AGM, and give time for a new senior leadership team to be appointed, before considering a gradual withdrawal from Anglesey in the autumn.
The latest report states that the way the “vast majority” of members behaviour in the last three months showed they were ready to be entrusted with control of the council, albeit with “ongoing safeguards necessary to ensure continued momentum.”
Council Leader Bryan Owen added: “The commissioners’ latest report again demonstrates that we’re regaining trust on a political level and I welcome their recommendation that some powers should be restored to the political leadership.
“If the Minister agrees, we will be ready to prove ourselves by providing the democratic leadership needed to guide the Authority towards long term corporate recovery and the best possible services for the people of Anglesey.”
As in previous reports, quarter five also includes a summary of key risks which must be addressed to sustain recovery.
The recent Estyn inspection of education services, the commissioners added, showed long term failings in corporate governance have had an adverse impact on services.
An Anglesey Council spokesman said: “Weakness in education services must now be addressed by the council, with additional challenge and support provided by the Welsh Government.
“This will ensure that progress made to date will results in improved services for the people of Anglesey.”
Mr Sargeant is expected to make an announcement on Anglesey Council’s future after the Welsh Government's summer recess ends on Monday, September 24.
To view the report, visit www.anglesey.gov.uk.