In brief, a mancomunidad is an association of townhalls which in theory gets the neighbouring mayors together to discuss issues and handle certain local services.
In practice, they’re an outdated association left over from the Franco days (and long before that) which usually duplicate services run by other branches of the government, if they do anything at all.
The services currently run by mancomunidades will be handed over to the Diputaciones (county councils) to run.
There are four mancomunidades in Almería, and the Presidents of them all agreed that they were “surprised” by the announcement. However, nobody seems to have been able to come up with a convincing argument as to why they should not be eliminated, which goes some way towards explaining how useless they are.
The PSOE has said that this is the first step towards eliminating smaller townhalls. The PP says it’s a logical step in their efforts to strip out the dead wood in the administration.