Saturday, 15 December 2012


I can think of no better argument for local government reform than the ongoing row over the pay increase awarded by the Labour controlled council cabinet (Plaid voted against) in Caerphilly. On Monday many council staff in Caerphilly will walk out on Monday lunchtime in protest at the disgraceful pay rises set to be awarded to the council's top twenty executives. The former county of Gwent was abolished by the Conservative Government in the early 1990's, being replaced by five councils covering; Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouth. One chief executive was replaced by five seperate chief executives, five heads of education, five heads of social services and deputies, etc. relative economies of scale were replaced by five seperate purchasing organisations, etc. It's time to bring back Gwent, but, with Single Transferable Vote to ensure that it is fully democratic rather than a Labour in Wales political monolith. Along the way we can cull the number of higly paid council cabinet members, and reintroduce some joined up thinking and sensible economies of scale cut out that local government middle management tier without cutting front line services.


  1. I have suggested in my blog that we need to go further, I retain the 5 current counties with more limited powers and hand education (including further but not higher education) social services, transport, infrastructure, economic planing, waste disposal (but not collection), I would also include the Police, Health and Fire Authorities (abolishing the police commissioner as well) so taking over a layer of nominated administration that isn't in democratic hands.


    1. Leave the Police out of this, it will confuse things even further if they are re-named or split into different areas. The historic counties of Wales should be brought back - Clywd, Gwynedd, Powys, Gwent, Dyfed, Mid Glamorgan, West Glamorgan and the vale should be re-named South Glamorgan. Wales's three largest cities could remain as they are. This process would save Wales millions of pounds a year, money which could be spent on health, education and improving the infracstructure of Wales. I will be calling on Plaid Cymru to push this. There has been repeated talk in West Wales to bring back Dyfed.