Wales politics

Cutting councillor numbers 'could damage democracy'

Swansea council chamber
Image caption Leighton Andrews has said there will be fewer council leaders, chief executives, cabinets and councillors

Cutting councillor numbers when local authorities are merged could damage democracy, an independent review says.

The report by Cardiff Business School warns of "implications for community representation" and says higher workloads could deter people from standing for election.

Ministers have said that reorganisation plans will mean fewer councillors.

A Welsh government spokeswoman said "effective community governance" is being considered.

Dr James Downe, from the business school, was asked to evaluate the standard of scrutiny in local government.

There are 1,264 local authority councillors in Wales - around 40 more than the number serving Scotland's larger population.

But Dr Downe said reducing the numbers would make it harder for councillors to do their jobs properly.

The Welsh government spokeswoman said ministers are "considering the legislation and consultation which will be required in preparation for local government reforms."

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