1. ITV Report

Sharp End 20th January 2014

Local councils are about to face massive change following the recommendations of the Williams Commission which has published its report today.

How much more likely is local government reorganisation though? There's certainly political consensus that 22 authorities are too many, but there'll be political difficulty cutting that number, not the least because so much of the Labour Welsh Government's political and campaigning support comes from its local councillors.

There are practical difficulties too: different service standards, different working arrangements, different council taxes. Dealing with all of these is likely to be costly and not just financially.

Welsh Government insiders say the real change lies away from the headlines and in the detail of what Williams recommends about public service delivery. We'll try to identify what that change may be.

MPs on the Welsh Affairs committee are spending the day in the Assembly to quiz the First Minister, Presiding Officer and others about the draft Wales Bill. This is part of the legislative scrutiny of a Bill which aims to give the Welsh Government more financial freedom and responsibility through tax and borrowing powers. It hasn't gone down so well with all members of that Welsh Government though so we could expect some divergence of views.

I'll be joined in the studio to discuss all this by three MPs: Labour's Nia Griffith, the Conservative Glyn Davies and Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams.

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