Sunday, July 01, 2018

Power grab: Tory county council leader wants to abolish every district council in Leicestershire

The Leicester Mercury reports an extraordinary attempt to grab power by Nick Rushton, the Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council.

He wants to see every district council in the county abolished and their powers passed to the county council.

His arguments for this move, at least as reported in the Mercury, are pretty incoherent.

Behind it, I suggest, lie modern Conservatism's dislike of truly local government and personal envy of the powers enjoyed elected by the elected mayor of Leicester.

Given the county council's diminished role in education, there is a stronger argument (if you are determined to see unitary councils) for abolishing the county and giving its residual powers to the districts.

The Mercury quotes the views of my old friend Simon Galton, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the county:
"I’m astonished Nick Rushton did not mention this at the council meeting on Wednesday. 
"It can only be because he knows he doesn’t have the support of all the district council leaders. 
"I know at least two Conservative district council leaders are not on board. 
"This is just a distraction from the deep cuts the Tories are making to services."
Judging by the tweet above (and I have pretty shrewd idea who that comment came from) the county's Tory MPs aren't on board either.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceMeanwhile, the people of Leicestershire continue to ask: when will the person who hacked Nick Rushton's Twitter account be arrested?

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