Commenting on the announcement that the local government review proposals are being changed, Josie Farrington, chai...
Commenting on the announcement that the local government review proposals are being changed, Josie Farrington, chair of the Association of county council's policy committee said: 'There is no evidence of widespread public support for spending up to £1 billion on changing structure when the money could be spent on improving services.
'The case for changing local government structure has yet to be made. The proposals assume it has.
'The strong assertion in favour of unitary authorities has not been substantiated,' she added. 'Local people must be allowed to exercise their democratic right to keep county councils as their strategic authorities along with district councils if they so wish.
'The review must not be accelerated at the expense of the consultation process and the integrity of the commission. It must allow enough time for local people to submit well researched submissions and for genuine consultation. The views of local people must be heard and taken into account.'
Ms Farrington went on to say that when the review is complete all the proposals for change must be presented to Parliament as a complete package so that people can decide whether the new structure is worth 'the high cost of bureaucratic change, at a time when many services are being starved of resources.'