‘Delay of year before elections in Ynys Mon is unacceptable’

2011 Rhagfyr 7 1:24 PM

Peter Black AM and Aled Roberts AM have written to the Local Government Minister urging him not to delay elections in Ynys Mon.

The Minister faces a decision whether to delay the elections for a year so they can happen based on the new boundaries, or he can hold them in May 2012, based on the current boundaries.

The Board of Commissioners has recently published its budget proposals for the Island. These proposals include a £3.4 million cut to vital services and a council tax increase of 5%; making the Island's council tax one of the highest in Wales.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Local Government Minister, Peter Black, commented:

"We do not believe that delaying the elections by a year would be an appropriate response for ensuring a thriving local democracy in Ynys Mon. If any Council is in the need of democratic renewal, it is Ynys Mon.

"It is our judgement that the boundaries are not the reason for the political challenges facing the county. There are many County Councils which consist entirely of single-member ward Councils which do not face the same political difficulties, and there are multi-member ward councils which do not operate effectively.

"Given that an additional budget would have to be agreed by an unelected board, should the elections be delayed, we have concluded that the elections should take place as soon as is practicable."

Assembly Member for North Wales, Aled Roberts, added:

"The Commissioners' budget will not be subject to democratic approval, despite it having far reaching consequences for the people of Ynys Mon. Likewise, if the Board of Commissioners are in place for another year, this will require them to produce another budget which is likely to cut public services further and incur a further council tax rise. Once again these huge decisions will not be subject to the democratic process.

"It is imperative that we are told what progress has been made by the Commissioners on the identified task of democratic renewal. The people of Anglesey are in no different a position to the other electors of North Wales; they are entitled to have local services provided by a locally elected Council whose members and officers are accountable for their actions and decisions."

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