Wales’ 22 local councils will not be forced to merge, the local government minister has said.
Local Government Secretary Alun Davies told council leaders he was “happy to withdraw the map” on re-organisation, which proposed 10 new council areas.
Last November, Alun Davies gave local authority bosses the ultimatum: “Change or we will change you!”
But on Thursday he told the Welsh Local Government Association he wanted to “work together” in equal partnership.
Addressing the association’s annual meeting in Llandudno, Mr Davies agreed with council leaders that the current number of local authorities was not sustainable.
He added that he wanted to bring forward legislation which would be “agreed by both local and national government for a more fundamental change to how the two interact in future”.
The plans which included merging the Vale of Glamorgan Council, with Cardiff Council have received a mixed response from Council across Wales.
The leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr John Thomas said last week “We as a Council have carefully considered Welsh Government’s latest proposals for the future of local government and feel that the case has not been made for Council mergers.”
Cardiff council leader Huw Thomas has however said he was open to a merger with the Vale of Glamorgan – because the capital may need to expand as it’s running out of space.