Peter Black AM has accused the Welsh Labour Government of demonstrating a 'complete lack of leadership' with regards to plans for reorganisation of local government in Wales.
Later today the Local Government Minister is expected to announce that she will legislate so that local authorities that merge early will hold elections in May 2018. However, despite the Welsh Government pledging that it will work with other parties, it did not consult on this issue. This follows a trend, after the Welsh Government failed to include members of all of the parties to be on the Williams Commission - which was responsible for drawing up the blueprint for the future of local government in Wales.
Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:
"The fact the Minister has made this announcement outside of the Assembly, after failing to consult on it, once again shows how her Labour Government has no plans whatsoever to properly work with other parties.
"The Williams Commission stated that arrangements for the mergers should be agreed by Easter 2014. That was never going to be likely when this Welsh Labour Government has shown a complete lack of leadership from beginning to end with regards to local government reorganisation.
"Whilst I support the reduction in the number of councils in Wales, I believe it is essential that councils, especially if they are to be larger, gain more powers and responsibility. Devolution must not stop at Cardiff Bay."