The leader of Carmarthenshire county council has welcomed news that the county looks set to avoid “the pain” of the latest major local government reshuffle.
The Williams Commission, authored by former NHS Wales chief executive Sir Paul Williams, has proposed that the number of local authorities in Wales be reduced from 22 to 11.
In the report, Carmarthenshire is one of the few Welsh authorities to escape the changes which are likely to completely redesign the Welsh political landscape.
Prior to publication, county chiefs had feared the commission would call for the reunification of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion as a reinstated Dyfed ‘super county’.
However, while the Williams Commission has recommended Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion form a single authority, it has proposed that Carmarthenshire remain unaffected by the widespread changes.
Leader of Carmarthenshire county council, Councillor Kevin Madge said: “My personal view is that I am pleased Carmarthenshire will potentially remain as it is. I don’t believe that returning to the old Dyfed is the best option for this county or for the region.
“Carmarthenshire has a proud record of achievements which stands us in good stead, and we remain committed to delivering quality services. We can also continue delivering our policies and programmes such as Modernising Education, council house investment and regeneration if we stand alone.
“I also believe that it would be better for the people of Carmarthenshire not to have to go through reorganisation and the pain we know that brings. However, I will of course be consulting fully with my colleagues, both here in Carmarthenshire, and within the WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association).
“This is a challenging agenda for local government in Wales and I’m sure the priority for us all is to achieve the right framework for delivering efficient and effective services for the Welsh people.”