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New report calls for local councils to be scrapped

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A new report is calling for local councils to be ‘scrapped’.

The Making Counties Count’ report, published for the County Councils Network (CCN), calls on the Government to move to a system of single-tier local authorities.

In most of England, local government operates under a two-tier system, with both a county council and a district or borough council providing services.

The study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows merging district and county councils in each area into a single unitary council could save £2.94bn over five years nationally.

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Nick King, founder of Henham Strategy who wrote the report, said: “Local Government in England is baffling to most people and in clear need of overhaul: two-tier Government is simply less effective, less efficient and less sustainable. Whilst simplifying structures by creating more unitary councils, the Government should also put significant powers into local hands.

He added: “We need broader and deeper devolution across the board with counties made into engines of growth and given new powers to deliver on that ambition. If the government believes the powers it has given to mayors are the best way of driving growth, they should give those same powers to counties immediately.”

Cllr-Kay-Cutts
Council leader Kay Cutts wanted local councils to be scrapped across Nottingham and replaced by a new ‘Super Council’

Residents in Gedling borough were firmly against plans for a ‘super council‘, when they were unveiled back in 2018 by Nottinghamshire County Council leader Cllr Kay Cutts.

In a local survey 90% or residents voted against abolishing Gedling Borough Council and replacing it with a single unitary council that would manage services across the whole of Nottinghamshire

When the results of a local Super Council survey were published, Gedling Borough Council leader John Clark said: “It backs up what we have been picking up socially and on the doorsteps, which is that people are proud of Gedling, they’re proud of what we’ve done, and that this plan goes too far.

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“Councillors are well known here, regardless of what party they’re from, and most of them work very hard, and people know that and appreciate that.

The ‘super council’ plans were eventually shelved after strong opposition from district and borough council leaders

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