About WLGA

The Welsh Local Government Association

The Voice of Welsh Councils

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) is a politically led cross party organisation that seeks to give local government a strong voice at a national level. We represent the interests of local government and promote local democracy in Wales.

The 22 councils in Wales are our members and the 3 fire and rescue authorities and 3 national park authorities are associate members.

We believe that the ideas that change people’s lives, happen locally.

Communities are at their best when they feel connected to their council through local democracy. By championing, facilitating, and achieving these connections, we can build a vibrant local democracy that allows communities to thrive.

Our ultimate goal is to promote, protect, support and develop democratic local government and the interests of councils in Wales.

We’ll achieve our vision by:

  • Promoting the role and prominence of councillors and council leaders
  • Ensuring maximum local discretion in legislation or statutory guidance
  • Championing and securing long-term and sustainable funding for councils
  • Promoting sector-led improvement
  • Encouraging a vibrant local democracy, promoting greater diversity
  • Supporting councils to effectively manage their workforce

The WLGA believes that services are best provided within a democratic framework of local accountability and that the people who use public services should have as much of a say in the way they are organised, managed and funded as possible. Local government is the tier of government closest to service users and best able to respond to their needs. It is recognised that it is the role of central government to set the strategy for public services nationally but that it is down to local government to deliver services based on local circumstances.

Originally established in 1996 primarily as a policy development and representative body, the WLGA has since developed into an organisation that also leads on improvement and development, procurement, employment issues and hosts a range of partner bodies supporting local government. The WLGA is funded by member authority subscriptions and by grants from the Welsh Government to deliver national programmes.

The WLGA’s main decision-making bodies are the council – comprising 71 members proportionately representing the populations they serve – and the executive board – comprising the 22 council leaders. The leader of the largest political group is appointed the WLGA Leader, however, the WLGA has traditionally sought to be politically balanced and operates on a basis of consensus, involving all political groups on the WLGA.

Senior councillors are appointed as WLGA spokespeople covering key local government portfolio areas. These portfolio areas cover every aspect of local government service ranging from finance, education and social services to planning and equalities. Being a WLGA spokesperson is a considerable responsibility, as they represent the whole of local government in discussions and negotiations with the Welsh Government, the UK Government and all other national partners in their service areas. The Association’s lobbying work is therefore extensive.

For more information

The WLGA’s Manifesto can be found here.

The WLGA’s key areas of work include:

  • Bilateral meetings between WLGA spokespersons and Welsh and UK Ministers;
  • Pre-and post-legislative scrutiny with the Senedd, UK Parliament and the European Parliament;
  • Policy development and joint working with the Welsh Government and UK Government;
  • Engaging with the workforce unions and professional associations;
  • Working with the various audit bodies and inspectorates in Wales;
  • Providing improvement support including peer review and member development and training and promoting good practice;
  • Arranging conferences, seminars, workshops and training events;
  • The publication of reports, guidance documents and on-line resources; and
  • Communications, press work, and social media.

Member support and development services from the WLGA:

The WLGA works with all councils across Wales to help provide support to members by:

  • Working strategically with the Welsh Government to ensure that the needs of members are promoted;
  • Providing guidance on request on all aspects of member support and development;
  • Providing member and officer networks to facilitate collaboration and practice sharing in democratic and support services;
  • Providing support and guidance materials such as model strategies, role descriptions, development frameworks and training modules; and
  • Working with each authority to develop and deliver learning opportunities for councillors.