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Thursday November 15 2018

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In Full . . .

Too many councils for the coffers

Posted on October 30 2018 at 10:07:54

With Worcestershire County Council recently announcing a £17.9 million projected overspend in their current year budget, and the six district or city councils within the county, including Bromsgrove Council, clearly also under financial constraints, surely it is now an appropriate time to revisit the potential financial and other benefits of the whole of Worcestershire being governed by either one or two unitary authorities.

Since 1995, nationally, at least 55 unitary authorities have been formed, as councils seek to become more efficient.

In 2016 a report commissioned by the County Councils Network, based on an assessment of data across 27 two-tier authorities in England, showed that replacing them with one unitary authority each could save £2.4bn – £2.9bn nationally, and up to £106m in every county.

At the next meeting of Bromsgrove District Council on November 21, Independent District Councillor for Barnt Green and Hopwood Charlie Hotham has the following motion before the council: “BDC will actively engage, through a cross party working group, with the county and other district councils to assess the feasibility and benefit of the formation of one or two unitary authorities for the whole of Worcestershire.”

If any Bromsgrove constituents believe that there should at least be such an investigation into the feasibility of any potential benefits of a move to unitary governance, I would urge them to directly contact their own district councillor ahead of the November council meeting, asking their councillor to support the motion before them.

Peter Rowbottom, Hagley


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