The Labour-run Nottingham City Council feels its borders are too small, and has said it hopes to expand into nearby areas. Arnold is one of the areas earmarked to be absorbed by the city
It comes after the Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council announced a ‘super council’ plan which would have scrapped district and borough councils. A new authority for all of Nottinghamshire outside the city would then have been set up.
However the county’s plan was shelved indefinitely late last year.
The city had already begun putting together its own case on why its borders should be enlarged
Now, the city council says it will continue fine tuning its plan to expand, but will then park the plan, until and unless the county council decides to progress with the ‘super council’ plan.
The leaders of all Nottinghamshire’s councils came together today and discussed what the city was planning.
Besides redrawing boundaries, there is growing consensus among the councils that more needs to be done to increase co-operation between authorities.
As council budgets continue to be squeezed, the leaders of the councils agreed to continue looking at ways to save money by working more effectively together.
Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of the county council, said: “I think this is a time for a whole reflection about where local government is going.
“I don’t see how you can cut people’s services, as we did recently, asking young disabled people aged between 18 and 24 to pay more for their service, and then continue with the same grinding bureaucracy. I find that morally repugnant.
“I think there has to be changes, and I think we should all be more grown up and think how can we change things.
“It shouldn’t be about the number of councils or the different councils.
“Yes we can collaborate, but the truth of the matter is nobody is prepared to give up sovereignty, and you’re not having any of my patch. This is always the problem.”
The leader of the city council, Jon Collins, said he had ‘no appetite’ for local government reorganisation, but the super council plan had forced it to prepare a counter-proposal.
He said: “I think the challenge with local government reorganisation is it’s never going to be anything people consent to, there are always going to be people who are pro and anti.
“People are interested in the outcomes, they’re not really interested in the shape of the organisation.
“I think there are some real challenges coming up, and fundamentally I think it’s very difficult to keep asking the public for more and more money for less and less service.
“The reason we’re doing that is because in terms of government resources we’re getting less and less, but the demographics are growing. A larger proportion is being spent on children’s and adult services, but in reality they are only being used by between five and 10 percent of those people.
“I think there is real scope for collaborative working. We already collaborate on a lot of areas, and we can look at ways to do so more efficiently.”