On the BBC’s East Midlands Today programme on Tuesday, November 1, Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry said: “I would get rid of the borough council, which I know wouldn’t be very popular with a lot of people, especially those councillors who sit on it. But then I’d have a unitary authority here in Nottinghamshire to do the really big, heavy work.”
Ms Soubry is perfectly right. I’ve argued for a long time that creating a unitary authority for Nottinghamshire would save time and money for the people we serve.
There is no justification to continue with eight separate councils, each with their own headquarters, chief executives and staff, all of which have to be paid for by the taxpayer.
People are always asking me why some services are delivered by Nottinghamshire County Council and others by borough and district councils.
They are not sure which council is responsible for a particular service, or which councillor to approach.
Most services are already delivered by the county council, while many others rely on the county and district councils working together. For example, the waste in our bins is collected by the seven district councils but disposed of by the county council. Likewise, district councils inspect shops and restaurants, but trading standards are a county council responsibility.
It should not need two separate authorities to perform these related tasks.
The structure of local government should move with times. New technology has changed the way all businesses work, including councils. It makes perfect sense to have one council serving the whole of Nottinghamshire, with town and parish councils running the very local services.
Councillor Kay Cutts
Nottinghamshire County Council Conservative group leader