Friday, October 11, 2019

Tory leader of Leicestershire wants to abolish our district councils

Embed from Getty Images

Nick Rushton, the Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council, has not abandoned his dreams of empire.

Today his council published what its press release describes as both a 'detailed road map' and a 'draft ... blueprint' for the abolition of all Leicestershire's district councils.

Some of the benefits claimed sound positively Soviet:
  • 'fewer councillors and fewer elections';
  • 'unity of purpose and a single strategic direction'.
In reply, the county's seven district councils have issued a joint statement:
The seven district councils in Leicestershire continue to work collaboratively to deliver highly-effective and efficient services to residents.
Proposed changes to the structure of local government in Leicestershire failed to receive support last year from district councils or MPs.
It is our view that better and cheaper services can be delivered through greater collaboration while keeping services local to the people who use them. There is an open invitation to the County Council to work with us on ideas for future collaboration.
If I believed centralisation made public services cheaper and more efficient I would have joined the Labour Party.


Unknown said...

There are no district councils in Scotland or Wales, nor in the former metropolitan counties of England, nor in Cornwall Wiltshire Shropshire Cheshire and (soon) Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire (and some others). This process has been going on since the late 1980s. 3 points: Many town and parish Councils actively supported these changes because it simplified relationships and gave them headroom to develop their role and services. Second, no-one has ever asked for their District Councils back (except a Tory MP in Cornwall, recently). Third, with public funding short as ever, it is impossible to defend the higher overhead costs and bureaucracy (especially in waste management) which come with 3-tier local government.

Jonathan Calder said...

I am well aware this has been going on since the late 1980s, thanks Unknown, It's just that I don't agree with it.

Unknown said...

Sorry didn't mean to be "unknown". I very much appreciate your point, and hope you will consider leading an initiative either to protect the diminishing number of DCs that remain, or even reviving them, in the interests of diversity and experiment as well as human scale. But they are (for the most part) expensive, Tory and (relatively) inefficient. Perhaps my own authority Cotswold DC will prove an exception, after its recent change to LD control.

Unknown said...

Still trying to publish as