Letter: Welsh 'no' to change

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The Independent Online
Sir: Much has been written in your columns in recent weeks on the impact of the local government review in England, but of equal concern is the change ahead for Wales. Despite the English county areas having an independent commission to assess what, if any, changes should be proposed, no such arrangement is the case for Welsh areas.

The prospect of change from existing county and district councils to 21 unitary authorities has been supported by only 20 per cent of local people, according to an independent poll. And only one in five of those polled favours the pounds 201m expenditure on making the changes. The proposals will create a deficit in democracy too by providing only 1,250 elected councillors compared with 1,460 government-appointed electees to quangos.

The system of review in Wales is unfair and unwelcome locally. It is time for the Prime Minister and his Welsh Secretary to reconsider the review and listen to public opinion.

Yours faithfully,

DENNIS PETTITT

Chairman

Association of County Councils

London, SW1

14 March

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