This coming Friday is the deadline for Welsh councils to agree voluntary mergers, and so far only four of the 22 have agreed in principle that they would like to get together (Conwy with Denbighshire and Bridgend with the Vale of Glamorgan).
Leighton Andrews, metaphorically wearing his leather jacket and tapping one hand with a baseball bat, has indicated that he might decide to go even further than the Williams Commission and cut the number down to just six.
Under the Williams proposals, Carmarthenshire could remain as a standalone authority, but it would then become one of the smallest Welsh councils. The other option would be for it to merge with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion to create Dyfed Mark II, but as this blog noted recently, Swansea has been casting covetous eyes on the southern bit of Carmarthenshire, and would like to create a new, overwhelmingly urban authority taking in Swansea itself, Llanelli, Neath Port Talbot and the Swansea Valley.
Rump Carmarthenshire, i.e. the remaining bits, would then have no choice but to throw its lot in with Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire - no bad thing perhaps.
Not only would the expanded Swansea exist within what its councillors regard as the city's natural boundaries, but the new authority would to all intents and purposes put flesh and bones on the rather amorphous concept which is Swansea Bay City Region, that curious quango-like beast which is half planning committee and half chamber of commerce.
Swansea Bay City Region as it is currently set up also takes in the rest of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, although what the benefits are for most of that large rural hinterland is not at all clear.
After conferences and municipal shindigs galore, Swansea Bay City Region board finally settled down to its first meeting - in Port Talbot - last week.
The event was presided over by Sir Terry Matthews, Wales's answer to Alan Sugar (sorry, Lord Sugar), and by all accounts it was a very big affair with all sorts of representatives invited along to watch the show.
If anyone went along with the belief that Swansea Bay City Region was about west Wales, the meeting put matters straight. The clue has always been in the name, and the invitees were told it had been decided that all those lovely EU grants and other spare public dosh would in future flow to Swansea.
Carmarthen was said to be doing well enough not to need any more help, but Swansea was "crap" (the actual word used, it is said), and needed all the money.