Merger suggestion for two councils
A PROPOSED merger which could give "more clout" to local government in Llanelli has taken its next step.
At last week's Llanelli Town Council meeting, members agreed that a special task and finish group should be set up to look into the potential of combining the town and rural councils.
Should they join forces, some hope Llanelli could eventually wriggle free of Carmarthenshire Council's grip, allowing the town to handle more of its own decision making.
Town mayor Winston Lemon, who initiated the proposal, believes a merger could create a stronger authority to fight for Llanelli's needs, as well as reducing costs to taxpayers.
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Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lemon said: "It would give more strength and a greater shout to what happens in the town — more clout to get things sorted out in this neck of the woods.
"There's a lot of savings involved, so it would be beneficial for all people in Llanelli.
"And speaking to people in Llanelli, they seem to be in favour of it, so hopefully we can get it off the ground."
And he said combining the two could cut costs — and taxpayers' bills — by eliminating the need to have two council clerks or two council buildings, for example.
And he hopes that should his motion go ahead, a Llanelli council could control its own town hall.
The task and finish group will scrutinise Mr Lemon's proposal and, following that, it could be put to a vote.
Town clerk Mel Edwards said: "The council has agreed to set up a task and finish group and I am looking into trying to arrange the first meeting of that group. I am hoping it will be in the next couple of weeks."
Clerk for Llanelli Rural Council Mark Galbraith said there had not yet been any official approach from the town council regarding the task and finish group, but that they would "sit tight and wait for a response".
In relation to this, Mr Lemon said: "I have spoken to one or two of the rural councillors and we will just have to liaise with them now and see what their views are, and the two councils will have to vote for it."
He added that although a date had not yet been set for the first group meeting, the fact that one had been formed was a "good start".