Fringe Box



Letter: Unitary Rule Strips Any Power From the Taxpayer

Published on: 19 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 19 Jul, 2020

Letter from SCC Leader Tim Oliver re Unitary Authority

From Peta Malthouse
In response to: County Council’s Tory Leader Tells Whitehall of Plan for Single Authority Rule

I am not in favour of unitary authorities in anything other than a city setting. Borough and county councils have distinctive roles, and claims that layers of management can be reduced implies duplication of which there is little.

A friend who lives in Bedfordshire has had this imposed on him. Cuts have been made in community support in areas of most need and the reason cannot be just austerity.

Unitary authorities rule from the centre with scant regard for truly local issues and needs. Of course, you can cut costs if you are deliberately blind to the needs in your areas. We have already seen such in Guildford where a powerful Executive meets to decide everything with little input from the backbench councillors.

Unitary authorities simply point the way to developing very deaf ears and an increased level of unresponsiveness to local issues.

Don’t get sucked in. This is about “taking more control” and removing such semblance of power that we have from us the voters and council taxpayer.

Added to this, there will be chaos while jobs have to be reapplied during a massive reorganisation. And who pays for it? You and me.

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