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County and district leaders at loggerheads over reorganisation

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The leader of Leicestershire CC has written to the leaders of the county’s district councils, informing them to “avoid releasing misleading information to the public” over reorganisation.

Nick Rushton (Con) said the leaders “appear to be under a misapprehension” over his intentions, adding that no decision on any future arrangements for local government reorganisation had yet been made.

This comes after the leaders of Blaby, Harborough and North West Leicestershire DCs and Charnwood, Hinckley and Bosworth, Melton, and Oadby & Wigston BCs said they were “open to considering all options” on reorganisation but expressed concern the county council appeared to be wedded to a single unitary option.

In a joint letter dated 3 September, the district council leaders said: “It is true that we were taken by surprise by the county council’s announcement in July that proposes a unitary structure for Leicestershire, a decision which was taken unilaterally by the county council without discussion with any of the district councils within the county, who are of course, all fundamentally affected by this.

“It is regrettable that we have not seen any details of the county’s proposals other than those which were outlined in the public report to the cabinet on 6 July.

“It appears from the press comments that the only option which the council is considering and will be consulting upon is for a unitary county council and as a key stakeholder we would have welcomed the opportunity to have been involved in the development of these proposals and to have seen the evidence upon which the council is relying to substantiate them.”

Responding, Cllr Rushton wrote: “I am afraid that you appear to be under a misapprehension about the county council’s intentions. There is nothing in the decision of the cabinet on 6th July to restrict unitary proposals, which the cabinet has asked to be developed, to a single option.”

The county leader also wrote that the leaders are “mistaken” in believing that the county council would undertake a public consultation on any unitary proposals, as “there is a difference between engagement and public consultation, the latter planned to follow any decision which the full council may take on 5th December.”



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