25 Year Anniversary of the establishment of Wales’ 22 local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association

Thursday, 01 April 2021

Addressing WLGA Council on 25th March, Councillor Huw David (Bridgend), WLGA Presiding Officer said:

 

“The 1st April 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of our 22 unitary authorities and the WLGA.”

“Ordinarily, we would have marked this occasion will some celebration. However, that would not be appropriate given we marked a sombre, more significant anniversary of the lockdown last week.

“At a time when communities and residents across our nation are still suffering due to the pandemic, now is a time for recognition rather than celebration.”

“We recognise the vital contribution councils have made to our communities and to our country.”

“The hundreds of thousands of jobs councils have created or saved.”

“The generations and hundreds of thousands of young people councils have educated and trained.”

“The tens of thousands of the most vulnerable in our communities whom councils have cared for or have housed.”

“The communities the length and breadth of Wales councils have regenerated.”

“The several hundred services councils have provided to all in our society, every single day for each of those 25 years.”    

“Even more importantly, we recognise and give thanks to local government’s greatest asset: its people. Councillors and, in particular, our many thousands of brilliant, hardworking staff who this year have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have been on the front line of the COVID response.”

“Our councils reprioritised, restructured services and redeployed thousands of staff overnight. Councils have continued to react and respond as the pandemic worsened through the winter.”

“Like never before, the government and our communities have turned to us and relied on us. Without our incredible workforce, none of this would have been possible. Our councils are uniquely placed at the heart of our communities. They are the first port of call for the most vulnerable or those in need of support or assurance. In responding to the crisis, they have amply demonstrated councils’ ability to respond irrespective of scale and reaffirmed the WLGA’s stance on the importance of subsidiarity and localism, with elected members and the workforce rooted in local communities.”

“As we reflect on the past 25 years of Welsh local government, we recognise the commitment and leadership of the elected members who have represented, served and supported their communities across Wales and we are proud of and pay tribute to our workforce, for their compassion, dedication, professionalism and public service particularly during the past 12 months, the most challenging period our communities and country has faced in generations.”

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The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the interests of local government and promotes local democracy in Wales.

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