Image credit: unknown - Under resurrected proposals from the Welsh Government, Ceredigion could be forced to merge with Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire

CEREDIGION council says it would continue to resist any attempts to merge it with neighbouring councils after the Welsh Government resurrected plans to reintroduce the old Dyfed system.

The Cambrian News reported “First mooted and abandoned in 2015 after a backlash from authorities across Wales, local government secretary Alun Davies said this week that he will again look at cutting the number of councils in Wales from 22 to 10.

That would mean the rebirth of the old Dyfed authority – a system abandoned in 1996 – with Ceredigion merging with neighbouring Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

Ceredigion County Council has previously voted unanimously against any merger proposals, and the authority said its “stance remains unchanged”.

“Merging with any other authority would weaken local accountability, and so it is in the county’s citizens’ best interests to retain the current structure of Welsh local authorities,” council leader Ellen ap Gwynn told the Cambrian News.

Mr Davies said the merger was needed because “councils have been clear that services are wearing down to the point of collapse”.

Voluntary mergers or a phased approach are among the options being considered, with a number of proposals set to go out to consultation.

After a previous plan to merge authorities by former Cabinet member Leighton Andrews was shelved three years ago, a forced regional joint working policy was instead announced.

That too was scrapped, leading to Mr Davies’ latest announcement.

While Ceredigion would be merged into a larger authority under the plans, Powys would remain unmerged under the proposal. The councils would be aligned with current health board boundaries” here.

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