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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Minister unveils proposals for future of local government

Proposals for the possible future shape of local government in Wales have been unveiled today (Tuesday).

Among the changes suggested in a white paper put forward by Local Government Minister Leighton Andrews are:
* Council elections every five years, not four as at present

* Maximum five terms - 25 years - for councillors

* Maximum two terms - 10 years - for council leaders and cabinet members

* Pay councillors in line with those on similar sized councils elsewhere in the UK

* Public sector employers to give staff unpaid leave to carry out duties as councillors, and other employers encouraged to do the same

* Council leaders and chief executives given a duty to promote and respect diversity

* Youth councils to be set up by each authority

Mr Andrews told BBC Wales: "It's seen as a bit of an old boys club and we want to cut out the cosy cabals."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Local Government spokesperson Peter Black said: “Limiting the terms of councillors would result in some popular councillors being forced to step down against the wishes of the people they represent. We are a democracy, it should be up to the electorate to decide whether their councillor continues to represent them.” 
* For a detailed summary of the white paper, see: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dsjlg/consultation/150203-power-to-local-people-summary-en.pdf

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