Ceredigion & Powys to share highway services

Ceredigion and Powys Councils are planning to increasingly share their highway services in an effort to cut costs.

The two councils have been meeting for some months to sort out arrangements and are now in agreement that they can work more closely together on a regular basis following the holding of workshops between the staff of the two authorities.

The working together is likely to involve sharing highways contracts and workloads to take advantage of economies of scale. Ceredigion is also working with Powys on waste. The Councils have promised their staff the plans will involve no redundancies but that, when vacancies arise, they will be looked at across the two authorities. Responsibility for any work will remain with the individual authorities.

As an illustration of the kind of pressures highways authorities are going to be under in the new financial climate, the new Trunk Road budget is due to go down from £16.3 million per year to £8.1 million from September.

Gwynedd have also been involved in the talks but want to do more research before agreeing to take part. It may be that they’re also considering an arrangement with Denbighsire, Conwy and Ynys Mon. The idea of involving the private sector was thrown out unceremoniously at a meeting of Ceredigion councillors several months ago.

Ceredigion and Powys working together fits in with the Wales spatial plan which identifies Aberystywth as the main town in mid Wales and a town of national significance, as shown by the locating of the new Assembly offices at Parc y Llyn.