News

13.07.18

Business case on the way for Nottinghamshire ‘super council’

Nottinghamshire has decided to proceed with a formal business case setting out plans to replace the current two-tier system in the region with a unitary authority after a vote was passed in yesterday’s Full Council meeting.

By a slight margin of 35 to 30 votes, members at the meeting agreed to put forward a business case for a major reorganisation of the county council, which, if approved at a later meeting, will be passed on to communities secretary James Brokenshire – who has already signalled support for government reform.

Under current arrangements, services such as housing, waste collection, leisure and environmental health are provided by seven district and borough councils, while others – such as social care, schools, waste disposal, highways and libraries – are delivered by the county council.

A new unitary authority would bring together all those functions to help save an estimated £20-30m every year as a result of smaller running costs and less red tape.

Cllr Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County Council leader, who earlier this week reaffirmed her support for the plans, said: “The argument for a new, unitary council to deliver services in Nottinghamshire is a compelling one and I am pleased that the council has sanctioned this important step forward to develop a comprehensive business case.

“I hear a lot from residents who are fed-up with being passed from authority to authority, depending on the issue and frustrated by the lack of joined-up thinking which is an inevitable consequence of the current two-tier system, no matter how closely the two tiers of local government try to work together.”

As well as greater accountability and clarity around services, a new ‘super council’ would give Nottinghamshire a “much louder, more influential voice within national government,” thus ensuring the region has a bigger chance of attracting investment and infrastructure improvements that it currently misses out on.

It would also boost the chances of “meaningful closer working” with other East Midlands councils and, ultimately, devolution deals.

“The whole future of local public services in Nottinghamshire is at a crossroads,” continued Cutts. “With eight years of significant reductions in funding already behind us – and faced with the prospect of further reductions to come – the only option to fundamental change to the current two-tier system is significant cutbacks to the services we rely upon and cherish, coupled with punishing increases in council tax. I don’t think that is in the best interests of anyone.

“Under current arrangements, people are effectively paying for two sets of councillors, two senior management teams and two lots of back office functions. A unitary council for Nottinghamshire would enable us to pool our resources and make significant reductions in running costs.”

She assured members that her organisation is not proposing a county council takeover, but an entirely new council built on the best practice of existing district, borough and county authorities.

Cutts has also recently agreed to discuss a “strategic alliance” with other council leaders in an effort to unify the region’s voice, although any sort of devolution deal would be quite a way off.

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

10/09/2018Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

Katrina Williams, head of travel at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), exp... more >
LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

10/09/2018LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

Paul Miner, head of strategic plans and devolution at the Campaign to Prote... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

interviews

Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 20... more >

the raven's daily blog

Social value: what is it and why?

14/09/2018Social value: what is it and why?

Ben Carpenter, chief executive of Social Value UK, discusses the worth of social value, and argues that, before we start measuring social value, we should ask clearly: what is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

September 2018

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News