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County publishes case for single unitary

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Nottinghamshire CC has published its case for establishing a new unitary council, which it says would make annual savings of £27m a year.

The council will vote next week on whether to press ahead with the proposal to abolish the county’s seven borough and district councils.

The report concludes that savings would be made through reducing senior management, support services, the overall number of councillors and the amount spent on elections and buildings, as well as the alignment of services.

It estimates a cost of £19m to set up the new council, which would be paid off over two years.

An option to create two unitary councils would save an estimated £16.4m, according to the report.

The council said its preferred single unitary option would include an increase in the number of councillors serving every community compared to the current number of county councillors, the introduction of area planning committees to consider local planning applications and a new devolution offer to town and parish councils to deliver ‘ultra-local’ services.

Nottinghamshire leader Kay Cutts (Con) said: “All local authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus 55 areas of England are unitary councils and while a growing number of two-tier areas are exploring options to follow suit, no unitary authorities are contemplating bringing in another, unnecessary layer of local government, with the additional bureaucracy that goes with it.”

In July district leaders raised concerns with housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire about what they described as a “horrifying” bid by Nottinghamshire CC to establish a county unitary.

County councillors, including former District Councils Network chair Neil Clarke (Con), backed a motion to devise a business case for abolishing the seven districts - in a move Nottingham City Council has warned will see it press to extend its boundary.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It's a complete no-brainer. Good luck with it all!

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