Welsh independent finance commission launched to look at reforming local government system- call for evidence

22-09-2015

An Independent Commission on Local Government Finance Wales has been set up to examine the current finance system in the country and today (Tuesday 22 September) the Commission is calling for evidence.

Recognising that there is a real and pressing need to reform the existing system, the Commission aims to look at how to deliver a better deal for councils, tax payers and local communities.

The commissioners would like to hear from any interested parties by Friday 16 October 2015, whose evidence will be used to help the Commission form its views on the current local government finance system in Wales.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is supporting the Commission, which consists of independent experts with a wealth of public sector finance experience in Wales and England.

Tony Travers, Chair of the Welsh Independent Commission said:

"The Independent Commission provides an opportunity to suggest better arrangements for funding councils in Wales.

"Everyone relies on local government services, and it is important that council tax, grants and other income operate in a fair and consistent way.

"We will be considering a range of possible changes, including possibly radical ones. People in Wales deserve local government which is accountable and where people have more influence over how the Welsh government and councils use the taxes they pay."

Chris Tidswell, an expert on the Commission and Head of CIPFA Wales, commented:

"The mechanisms for funding local government in Wales have been in place for a number of years.  Reorganisation, financial pressure and service demands driven by economic and demographic change mean that the time is right to review arrangements. 

"Local decisions on the allocation of resources to support local services and local priorities is essential and, as such, the equity and application of funding to local authorities needs to be both responsive and allow local policy decisions.

"CIPFA in supporting and advising the Independent Commission in Wales hopes that the outcome will help to redress the issues and provide impartial and insightful advice to all those involved in the future funding of local government in Wales."

ENDS

For more media enquiries contact the CIPFA press office on 020 7543 5840 / 5787 / 5675 or email E: Saskia.black@cipfa.org

If you wish to submit evidence please visit the Commission’s page on CIPFA’s website for more information. The page is also available in Welsh.

Notes to Editors

The Commission will examine:

  • the strengths and weaknesses of the current local government finance system in Wales
  • options for changing the system of financing local government in Wales, including both revenue and capital expenditure, with a view to increased self-sufficiency
  • reforms to encourage greater economic growth in Wales
  • reforms which secure the delivery of better public services and outcomes envisaged in the Welsh Government’s White Paper.

The Commission would like to receive responses by Friday 16 October, although it will consider responses received up to 30 October.

Responses will be posted on the Commission website which contains further information about the Commission, its work and those involved.