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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tory u-turns

Have the Welsh Tories changed their policy on policing in Wales? I only ask because when Labour were proposing a single police force they were at the forefront of the opposition to the idea arguing that it was inappropriate and costly. Now, a prominent member of the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group is calling for precisely that.

Byron Davies, Conservative Assembly Member for South Wales West, has said that savings can be made by having fewer chief constables. He has suggested that by merging forces, the money that is saved could then be spent on employing more frontline officers.

In actual fact it was quite clearly demonstrated last time that amalgamation would cost money that would not then be recouped in savings.

By all means let us have a debate, but can we clarify if Mr. Davies is speaking for his party on this or not first?
In Wales , with a population of about 2.5 million we have 22 iauthorities, all with chief excecutives, who earn over £100,000 per year.Birmingham and Manchester have about the same populations but only one education authority. the standard of education in Wales is down on that in England and is slowly falling lower. If the WAG could could cut the numbers of authoritiesand the numbers of CEO's that would add up to a large saving that could be spent on Real Education and not on some fat cats salaries. Over to you peter.
Three points:

1. It is not up to me as I am not a member of the Welsh Government.

2. It is doubtful whether such savings could be achieved. Reorganisation costs money. But that does not mean that it should not happen for other reasons.

3. I am already on record as arguing for a reduction in the number of local Councils from 25 (including National Parks) to 7 or 8, cutting the number of Councillors by a third, electing them by STV and giving them more responsibilities including control of primary health care, strategic transport, economic development and community development. All responsibilities currently held by the Welsh Government.
"... and giving them (local authorities) more responsibilities including control of... economic development and community development."

Have to agree with transferring responsibility of economic development to local authorities in view of WAG's pathetic handling to date. cw
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