This week sees the start of public engagement work about changes to the way local government is provided in Nottinghamshire, writes Coun Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County council leader.
In Nottinghamshire, the main source of Government funding has fallen by £120 million since 2013-14, at a time when demand for services has increased considerably.
Despite the council saving more than £270 million in the last few years, under different political leaderships, it still faces a budget gap of £54 million.
All options to make the savings needed have been exhausted and without fundamental change, the prospect looms of huge cuts to frontline services and increasing council tax, year-on-year
I believe a reorganisation of local government is the only alternative.
Wherever you live in Nottinghamshire, you have at least two councils – the county and one of seven district or borough councils.
The county council provides services like social care, education, highways, transport and trading standards.
District or borough councils provide services such as refuse collection, street cleaning, leisure centres, social housing and some planning.
It stands to reason that all these services could be run much more effectively under one roof.
And the council could be much more powerful by speaking as one voice when trying to attract the funding for the economic growth the area needs.
Starting this week, and running throughout October, the council wants to hear your views on the future of local government in Nottinghamshire as well as talking to stakeholders, from businesses and voluntary organisations to parish and town councils.
An impartial, independent company is leading this work and will report back to the council in December.
Complete the questionnaire online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/futurenotts or at your local library and share your views.