Issue - meetings

"In Defence of Localism" - Elected Government in Wales and the Impact of Austerity"

Meeting: 15/07/2014 - Cabinet (Item 26)

26 "In Defence of Localism" - Elected Government in Wales and the Impact of Austerity" pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Additional documents:


(a)  as detailed in the recommendation; and

(b)  that the “In Defence of Localism” – Elected Government in Wales and

            the Impact of Austerity consultation document be submitted to County



The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) consultation document “In Defence of Localism” – Elected Government in Wales.


The document covered key issues including financial futures, the Public Services Commission’s recommendations, central local relations in Wales and devolution.  The documents predominate theme was to restate the case for localism in Wales.


The WLGA was utilising the “In Defence of Localism” badge on all future publications until the Assembly elections in 2016.  It was also their intention to undertake a national customer survey on local government services and the value which the public placed on those services. 


The Leader stressed the importance of improving the relationship between Welsh Government and local government, including it being more defined.  In conclusion he said it was the unanimous view of the leaders of all 22 local authorities in Wales that the localist approached offered the best way forward in terms of protecting communities and enhancing democracy across Wales.


Cabinet Members concurred with the views of the Leader in that devolution should be at a local level and added their concerns on specific grants. 


The Chief Executive re-iterated the need for a more balanced relationship between Welsh Government and local government and referred to number 63 in the consultation document which stated that ‘As part of this shared commitment, Welsh local government will:

·         Engage in constructive debate around structural reform of local government and will continue to lead and deliver the wider public service reform agenda

·         Promote and support the local contributions to the long-term national strategic vision for Wales which will be articulated through the forthcoming Future Generations Bill

·         Deliver specific local contributions to the Wales Programme for Government, through successful delivery of Outcome Agreements

·         Continue to lead on self improvement and a collective sector-led approach to identifying and responding to improvement challenges faced by individual authorities

·         Build on progress around improving engagement, challenge and scrutiny within the local democratic process, with a particular focus on improving the diversity of democracy ahead of the next local elections

·         Honour all existing specific service based commitments


He said that ‘Continued commitment to excellence in customer services’ was not included in the list and that it should be first.  Also, he suggested that the report be submitted to County Council which was agreed.




(a)          That the consultation document be noted and the approach outlined in     paragraphs 3.01 – 3.04 of the report be supported; and


(b)               That the report be submitted to County Council.