Councillors have today voted to back plans that could spell the end for Gedling Borough Council and other smaller authorities across the county.
Proposals will now be put together on how and when a new ‘super council’ would be put into place for Nottinghamshire.
It would involve dissolving district and borough councils, and the county council, and creating a brand new authority.
However the proposal was watered down at the last minute, ahead of the vote.
The plan had been to vote on whether to put a business case together and send it to the Government.
Now, a case will be put together, which will then come back before councillors.
Should councillors then vote in favour at a future meeting, it would then be sent to the Government.
Nottingham City Council has said if a case is eventually sent to the Government, it will create its own bid to enlarge the city’s boundaries to include West Bridgford, Arnold, Gedling and Broxtowe.
This would mean many urban areas around the city would come under the city’s authority.
Opposition councillors today queued up to attack the plans, and the way they were put together.
But Conservative leader Kay Cutts, who represents the Radcliffe on Trent ward, laid out what she see as the benefits of the scheme, and said it should have happened years ago.
She said: “There is little justification in maintaining the bureaucracy of eight seprate council offices across Nottinghamshire.
“It would make life simpler, and cost taxpayers significantly less.
“The public will at least know who their councillor is, and will have a one-stop shop for all their issues.
“I believe this is what the people of Nottinghamshire want, and I believe it is what the councillors in this chamber want.”
But many people who spoke today at the meeting – which lasted more than six hours – were against the proposal.
Alan Rhodes is the leader of the Labour group. He said the proposal would become the equivalent of Brexit. He said it would be: “Hugely distracting from the job we are all elected to do, deeply divisive, and ultimately doomed to failure with promises broken and expectation failing to be met.”
In an impassioned speech, independent councillor Maureen Dobson, who represents Collingham, said the way the scheme had been handled was a ‘Kay Cutts special’. She said she supported re-organisaiton, but that it had been mishandled.
Speaking to the leader, she said: “For someone who’s supposed to be politically astute, you’ve been very naive, and I’m very surprised about that. This will not be your legacy, this will be your downfall.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Stephen Carr described the process as a ‘shambles’, and said: “I am totally opposed to unitary authorities. It doesn’t make sense for an area that stretches from here to Doncaster. We want more power to be held nearer the people.”
“You have turned this issue into something that is as divisive as Brexit.
“There is now a real danger that the city will seek to expand its borders, and this is incredibly unpopular in those areas.
“What you should have done is speak to all those parties, but you have not, and it will inflict huge damage on your party at the next election.
Speaking after the meeting, council leader Kay Cutts said that she was pleased that the council had ‘started the journey’, but couldn’t say whether the business case would be finalised before the end of the year.
The scheme was narrowly voted through today by 35 to 30. A more detailed plan will now be put together by council officers, before councillors vote on the final proposals.
A list of how each councillor voted has now been published, so you can find out how your representative voted:
Reg Adair, Conservative, Leake and Ruddington, For
Pauline Allan, Labour, Arnold North, Against
Chris Barnfather, Conservative, Newstead, For
Joyce Bosnjak, Labour, Mansfield North, Against
Ben Bradley, Conservative, Hucknall North, For
Nicki Brooks, Labour, Carlton East, Against
Andrew Brown,Conservative, Leake and Ruddington, For
Richard Butler, Conservative, Cotgrave, For
Steve Carr, Liberal Democrats, Bramcote North and Beeston North, Against
John Clarke, Labour, Arnold South, Against
Neil Clarke, Conservative, Bingham West, For
John Cottee, Conservative, Keyworth, For
Jim Creamer, Labour, Carlton West, Against
Kay Cutts (Leader) Conservative, Radcliffe on Trent, For
Samantha Deakin, Ashfield Independents, Sutton Central and East, Against
Maureen Dobson, Independent, Collingham, Against
Dr John Doddy, Conservative, Stapleford and Broxtowe Central, For
Boyd Elliot, Conservative, Calverton, For
Sybil Fielding, Labour, Worksop West, Against
Kate Foale, Labour, Beeston Central and Rylands, Against
Stephen Garner, Mansfield Independent Forum, Mansfield South, For
Glynn Gilfoyle,Labour, Worksop East, Against
Keith Girling, Conservative, Newark West, For
Kevin Greaves, Labour, Worksop South, Against
John Handley, Conservative, Greasley and Brinsley, For
Tony Harper, Conservative, Eastwood, For
Errol Henry, Labour, Carlton West, Against
Paul Henshaw, Labour, Mansfield West, Against
Tom Hollis, Ashfield Independents, Sutton West, Against
Vaughan Hopewell, Mansfield Independent Forum, Mansfield East, For
Richard Jackson, Conservative, Toton, Chilwell and Attenborough, For
Roger Jackson, Conservative, Southwell, For
Eric Kerry, Conservative, Toton, Chilwell and Attenborough, For
John Knight, Labour, Kirkby North, Against
Bruce Laughton, Cosnervative, Muskham and Farnsfield, For
John Longdon, Conservative, Stapleford and Broxtowe Central, For
Rachel Madden, Ashfield Independents, Kirkby-in-Ashfield South, Against
David Martin, Ashfield Independents, Selston, Against
Diana Meale, Labour, Mansfield West, Against
John Ogle, Conservatives, Tuxford, For
Philip Owen, Conservative, Nuthall and Kimberley, For
Michael Payne, Labour, Arnold North, Against
John Peck, Labour, Sherwood Forest, Against
Sheila Place, Labour, Blyth and Harworth, Against
Liz Plant, Labour, West Bridgford North, Against
Mike Pringle, Labour, Ollerton, Against
Francis Purdue-Horan, Conservative, Bingham East, For
Mike Quigley, Conservative, Retford West, For
Alan Rhodes (Labour leader), Worksop North, Against
Kevin Rostance, Conservative, Hucknall West, For
Phil Rostance, Conservative, Hucknall South, For
Sue Saddington (Chairwoman) Conservative, Farndon and Trent, For
Andy Sissons, Mansfield Independent Forum, Mansfield South, For
Helen-Ann Smith, Ashfield Independents, Sutton North, Against
Tracey Taylor, Conservative, Misterton, For
Parry Tsimbiridis, Labour, Mansfield North, Against
Steve Vickers, Conservatives, Retford East, For
Keith Walker, Conservatives, Balderton, For
Stuart Wallace, Conservative, Newark East, For
Muriel Weisz, Labour, Arnold South, absent
Andy Wetton, Labour, Warsop, Against
Gordon Wheeler, Conservative, West Bridgford West, For
Johnathon Wheeler, Conservative, West Bridgford South, For
Yvonne Woodhead, Labour, Bildworth, Against
Martin Wright, MAnsfield Independent Forum, Mansfield East, For
Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Independents, Ashfields, Against