Welsh council reforms could save up to £650 million

Proposed reforms to the number of Welsh council’s could save up to £650 million over the next ten years, according to figures from the Welsh Government.

Leighton Andrews, Public Services Minister, has confirmed plans to reduce the number of councils in Wales from 22 to eight or nine.

The upfront costs are expected to be between £97m and £246m, but The Draft Local Government (Wales) Bill, published on 24 November, claims that this would pay for itself in two or three years and deliver additional savings through the sale of surplus assets.

The reforms could result in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs, as the number of councillors would fall from 1,250 to between 700 and 900, and the number of administrative jobs are expected to fall by about 1,400.

Andrews said: "Our vision for local government is for activist councils, engaged in delivering modern, accessible, high quality public services with their local communities.

"There is a real opportunity here for local government to make significant savings for taxpayers and if councils work together, plan well and involve their staff there is the opportunity for savings even greater than the £650 million we have identified.

"This means more money for front line public services, more money to invest in communities and more money to support local economic prosperity."

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