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LGC survey: Half of officers expect reorganisation within five years

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More than half of senior council officers expect local government reorganisation will have to proceed in their area within the next five years, the LGC confidence survey has shown.

Just over a third of 145 respondents (34%) said they expected reorganisation within the timeframe despite no work having started on proposals, while 21% of officers said their council had already published plans, had plans approved or is in the process of drawing them up.

A total of 45% of respondents said they did not expect reorganisation in their area.

Housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire, soon after his appointment in May, told LGC there was “clear space and scope” for the creation of more unitary councils which has subsequently kickstarted further debate around the country.

Hover over interactive graphic for full details

 

 

The reorganisation of Dorset into two unitary councils was approved by Parliament in May, while two new councils are set to be created in Northamptonshire after the county council issued a section 114 notice earlier this year.

A decision on restructuring in Buckinghamshire is expected shortly, while discussions on reorganisation are live in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Somerset and Lancashire.

Three-quarters of county senior officers (75%) said reorganisation would proceed in their area within the next five years, with 43% saying it would happen despite work on plans not having started and 15% saying their council was in the process of drawing up proposals. A quarter (25%) of county officers said reorganisation would not have to proceed in their area.

However, 60% of district senior officers said they did not expect reorganisation would not have to take place in their areas, while 40% expected it to happen. Of these respondents, three-quarters said work had not started on proposals.

Senior officers at unitary councils were fairly evenly split on whether reorganisation would have to take place in their area, with 53% saying it would not. Just over a quarter of unitary officers said reorganisation would proceed despite work being yet to start on proposals. The remainder said plans had either been approved or were currently being drawn up.

More officers in metropolitan areas believed reorganisation would not happen in their areas than those who do, with a 58:42 split. A quarter of these respondents said they expected reorganisation to proceed but work on proposals had yet to start. A total of 8% said they were in the process of drawing up proposals.

Senior officers at London boroughs are split exactly 50:50 on whether reorganisation would have to proceed in their areas within the next five years. Of these respondents, 43% said local government would have to be restructured in the capital with five years but work had not yet started on plans.

 

Hover over interactive graphic for full details 

 

 

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • first work out the role of local government, how adult social care is managed is a first order question.

    but that said we need to reduce the number of councils radically and have unitaries, with sub regional strategic authorities for transport and economic development

    but there is no central government capacity to manage the process so forget it for five years

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