Despite the sacking of Labour leader, John Chorlton, from the executive it is far from clear yet whether the Labour group itself will withdraw its support from the Alliance. Indeed it appears that John Chorlton's portfolio of Planning and Environment has been offered to another Labour councillor. With the budget yet to be finalised and a host of other important decisions just down the road, Labour now have the messy business of deciding whether to act in the best interests of the Island, or to continue to support a leader who has been sacked for apparently trying to undermine Council Leader, Clive McGregor.
Having said that, even if remaining Labour members continue to support it can the minority ruling alliance now limp on like this until the Council AGM in May? Will perhaps the Original Independents step in? The events of the next few days will be crucial in determining what David Bowles and Elan Closs Stevens will recommend to the Minister in Cardiff.
So what happens if they decide that the "recovery" has irrevocably broken down? Following WAG's instructions last month for Ynys Môn and Gwynedd to "cooperate" together, the simplest way forward for WAG would be to proceed with a full merger of the two councils. Indeed, rumours suggest that Plaid Cymru in particular is very much for this as the strong Plaid support on the mainland would pretty much guarantee Plaid control of the merged council.
Although I see no problem with greater cooperation between the two councils in delivering services, I would completely oppose any loss of sovereignty for Ynys Môn. Not only for cultural or historical reasons, but also because of the more practical reason that Gwynedd Council currently has a budget black hole of almost £30 million -- compared to 'just' £10 million on Anglesey. With 75 councillors in Gwynedd against just 40 in Ynys Môn, I'm sure it wouldn't be long before various Anglesey assets such as our exceptionally large smallholdings estate would be sold off with planning permissions in order to fill the budgetary hole on the other side of the Straits.
In my opinion the political problems by themselves are not a good enough reason to seek the full merger of Anglesey and Gwynedd. Internal governance procedures have been strengthened significantly since David Bowles's arrival and, with just a few exceptions, it is undeniable that Anglesey County Council actually provides remarkably good services -- the news last week that IoACC recycles more waste than any other council in Wales is just one example of this. An influx of new blood into the Council at the local elections in 2012 -- and a campaign to ensure that -- would be the best remedy for our political problems, not a rushed and short-sighted merger with Gwynedd.