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Welsh minister clarifies aspects of mandatory regional planning regime

Words: Roger Milne
Mark Drakeford / National Assembly for Wales

Cabinet secretary for local government Mark Drakeford has confirmed further details of the promised legislation that will see mandatory regional working between Wales’s 22 councils on issues such as economic development, strategic land use planning and strategic transport.

Drakeford said that under the provisions of the new Local Government Bill these services will all be undertaken in three large regions: North Wales, Central and South West Wales and South East Wales. 

There will be scope for sub-regional working as part of these larger groupings.

The minister said councils would also be required to work regionally on other services such as education improvement, social services, additional learning needs and other aspects of land-use planning but have more flexibility on the footprint in which they work together.

Certain specific functions would have to be undertaken regionally, for example, social services being aligned with the local health board boundaries.

The administration has also signalled that there will be a root-and-branch review of town and community councils.

A panel chaired by former assembly members Gwenda Thomas and Rhodri Glyn-Thomas will conduct the evidence-based review. The review is expected to start this summer and will take a year.

Image credit | National Assembly for Wales