Anglesey Council's Plaid Cymru councillors reject Gwynedd merger proposals


Geraint Jones

ANGLESEY Council’s Plaid Cymru group has unanimously rejected proposals to merge the authority with Gwynedd. 

Group leader councillor Bob Parry said a councillors had “compelling” reasons to oppose the Williams Commission’s findings.

He added: One of the main arguments was the fact that without any detailed cost benefit analysis it is impossible to guarantee if and when savings from service delivery will be made. 

“Recent examples of mergers such as health merely seem to increase costs by adding additional tiers of management. 

“Also how can we justify to the residents of Ynys Môn a council tax rise of 6.9 per cent to bring about parity with Gwynedd residents?"

Cllr Parry added that initial feedback from local constituents was that they wanted to retain Anglesey Council’s identity as a unitary authority.

He added: "Mergers are far more likely to be successful when you have two partners who are roughly equal, however this clearly isn't the case in this instance.“
“Gwynedd is far larger in terms of geography, population and has two and a half times as many councillors.

“As a result the likelihood is that Ynys Môn will just be swallowed up by Gwynedd as happened in the past.”

Cllr Parry said the authorities already delivered services together, such as the Joint Local Development Plan.

He added: “We can continue to work in effective partnership without merging."

Llr Ieuan Williams, leader of Anglesey Council, was due to discuss the report with the Welsh Local Government Authority in Cardiff today (Thursday, February 29). 

Richard Parry Jones, the council’s chief executive, said: Although this is essentially a political matter, it’s our duty as responsible officers to provide elected members with the guidance and advice needed to come to an informed decision on the Commission’s recommendations for change.

“Our response will, however, be based on what is best for Anglesey and its residents as regards the future provision and quality of services.”

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