The Welsh Liberal Democrats have made clear today that they would not support any local government reorganisation proposals without the introduction of a fair voting system.
Peter Black AM this morning tabled an amendment to the Local Government (Wales) Bill calling for the Single Transferable Vote system to be introduced; however this amendment was voted down in Committee.
STV (Single Transferable Vote) is a voting system in which voters list the candidates in order of preference. If any candidate does not receive enough support to win a seat, that candidate's votes will be transferred to others according to voters' next preferences. It gives voters more choice and ensures fewer votes are ‘wasted’.
Peter Black, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:
“Without introducing a fair voting system, this whole reorganisation process is pointless.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will not support any local government reform that doesn’t bring power closer to people and that includes a fairer voting system. If councils are going to be larger, then it is essential that they reflect the people that voted for them.
“The Welsh Labour Government is obsessed with lines on the map, but far less focused on properly thinking about what services councils are expected to deliver. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe in devolving power from Cardiff Bay into our communities, giving councils the tools to be able to properly deliver services for local people.
“I am disappointed but not surprised that Labour voted down my amendment. For them this is about what works best for Labour, rather than what works best for the people of Wales.”