Local Government (Wales) Act 1994

Local Government (Wales) Act 1994

The Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 (1994 c. 19) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created the current local government structure in Wales of 22 Principal Areas [ s.1 Local Government (Wales) Act 1994] , and abolished the previous two-tier structure of counties and districts. It came into effect on 1 April 1996.


In June 1991, the Secretary of State for Wales, David Hunt, published a consutation paper on reform of local government in Wales. The paper proposed the replacing of the existing two-tier system of administrative counties and districts, established by the Local Government Act 1972 in 1974, with unitary authorities. The number and size of the unitary areas was not set down, instead three options were given for ten, twenty or twenty-four new councils.On March 3, 1992 the Secretary of State made a statement in the House of Commons, in which he stated that the number of proposed unitary authorities was to be twenty-three. He further stated:

:"My approach in identifying these 23 authorities has been as follows. First, I want to restore to the largest centres of population - Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and also to Wrexham - full control over their own affairs."

:"Secondly, in the rural areas I want to see local government based on the traditional counties, such as Pembrokeshire, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire and Anglesey and, of course, we recognise the position of Meirionnyddshire and Carmarthenshire. I shall consult further on whether to extend that approach to separate authorities for Radnorshire and Brecknock."

:"Thirdly in the south Wales valleys I want as far as possible to take account of the intense local loyalties that are such a feature of the area. Taking account of demographic and other factors, however, I also consider it necessary for some of the present district councils in the valleys to come together to form new unitary authorities."

The areas of the new councils were not precisely defined, although a map was issued at the time of the statement. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199192/cmhansrd/1992-03-03/Debate-1.html House of Commons Hansard Debates for 3 Mar 1992] ]

The Conservatives held power at the general election held on April 9, 1992, and a white paper "Local government in Wales: A Charter for the Future" was published on St David's Day, March 1, 1993. The number of unitary authorities had been reduced to twenty-one, with the deletion of separate authorities for Meirionnydd and Montgomery, and their areas and proposed names were given. speaking in the commons, David Hunt said;:"In making these proposals I have sought to balance the demands of local community loyalty with the requirements of effective and efficient service delivery, taking account of demographic factors, population distribution, geography and other relevant considerations."

The fire service, previously administered by county councils, was to be organised as three combined authorities. Elections for the new councils was to be in 1994, initially acting as "shadow authorities" until April 1, 1995 when they would assume their responsibilities. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199293/cmhansrd/1993-03-01/Debate-1.html House of Commons Hansard Debates for 1 Mar 1993] ]

Unitary Authorities proposed by the 1993 White Paper

Aberconwy and Colwyn was subsequently renamed Conwy and Neath and Port Talbot was renamed as Neath Port Talbot by their respective councils.

ee also

*Subdivisions of Wales


External links

* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1994/Ukpga_19940019_en_1.htm Full text available at OPSI Web site]

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