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28.03.18

Single unitary authority not an option for troubled Northamptonshire CC

Sajid Javid has invited councils in Northamptonshire to submit a proposal for a single tier of local government.

Addressing Parliament yesterday, the housing, communities and local government secretary explained that this invitation comes following consideration of the independent inspection report on Northamptonshire County Council.

Javid said that the report, which found that for a number of years the council has “failed to manage its budget and has not taken effective steps to introduce and maintain budgetary control,” was “balanced,” “rooted in evidence” and “compelling.”

Yesterday Paul Rowsell, head of the governance reform and democracy unit at the ministry, wrote to the Northamptonshire councils, informing them of Javid’s plans to exercise his powers under the Local Government and Public Involvement Health Act 2007 and invite the, to make proposals for the restructuring of the local government.

The letter explains that the invitation is to submit a “combined proposal,” such as two or more proposals for a unitary authority of one or more districts which form part of a county area (a Type B proposal), or a proposal consisting of one or more proposal for a unitary authority which is part of a county and one or more adjoining districts in an adjacent county (a Type C proposal) and Type B proposals.

It makes it clear that a proposal for a single unitary authority covering the whole of the county is not an option.

Any proposal should seek to achieve unitary structures which are likely to improve local government and service delivery across the area, be based on a credible geography, and command a good deal of local support.

Proposals may be submitted by an individual council, or jointly by some or all of the other councils in the county, and must be received by Friday 27 July 2018.

Top image: yevtony

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