Saturday, October 03, 2020

Leicestershire Tories still intent on curbing local democracy

Leicestershire Conservatives are pushing ahead with their plan to abolish the county's seven district and borough councils.

Opposing the Tory plans, the Liberal Democrat county councillor Michael Mullaney has said:

"A unitary authority for Leicestershire, scrapping districts and boroughs like Hinckley and Bosworth and creating one authority for a large and diverse county like Leicestershire would I believe be wrong at anytime. However to undergo such a disruptive process during the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic is particularly mistaken.

"Research has shown that large unitaries tend to make local government less local whilst at the same time there is mixed findings on whether it actually makes any significant cost savings. A single unitary authority for 700,000 people spread across over 800 square miles of villages and Towns in Leicestershire would I believe lead to many communities on the edge of the county, like mine in Hinckley, being cut off from decision making. I hope the Conservative bosses at County Hall rethink and drop these centralising, disruptive, plans to abolish the Leicestershire districts and boroughs.

"Rather than abolishing districts and boroughs the Tory county council and our counties seven Tory MPs should be lobbying their government to bring in fair funding for Leicestershire. At present we are the worst funded area for local government by the Conservative government. This is understandably putting pressure on our local services. It's time for Tory county council leader Nick Rushton to abandon the Unitary plans for Leicestershire and renew efforts to get his councillors and county Tory MPs to deliver the fair funding from government people in Leicestershire deserve."

If you are wondering why Tories across the country are so taken with this socialist idea of centralising power, a report in the Guardian earlier week gave the game away:

Abolishing district councils could help bolster Conservative MPs in former Labour strongholds by reducing local opposition, a leading Tory has suggested to the prime minister in a leaked letter.

Boris Johnson has been urged to scrap the midsized local government bodies in part to help Conservatives in the so-called “red wall” seats that were gained in the December 2019 general election from Labour in its former northern strongholds.

The call comes from David Williams, the leader of Hertfordshire county council, who heads the Conservative group at the County Councils Network. It reveals a party political dimension to plans to simplify local government by removing district and borough councils, leaving only very local parish and town councils and larger unitary authorities like county councils. ...

In the letter, seen by the Guardian, Williams told Johnson not to "ignore the political implications [of reform] for both Conservative councillors and MPs ... and in particular our new red wall MPs".


nigel hunter said...

The Tories are aiming to open an office in Leeds Nearer their 'Red Wall' area. They will then start campaigning for these unitary regions. NON OF IT WILL BE FOR REAL EFFICIENCY SAVINGS BUT FOR CONTROL FOR TORIES.
Campaigning for this move now is a cynical move for they know that with the virus people will not be concentrating much on this. THAT IS WHY WE SHOULD START CAMPAIGNING NOW TO POINT IT OUT.
Seeing it is already a Tory enclave round LIEcestershire I do not fancy your chances of getting the money COST THEY ARE COST STRIPPERS, unless their grip starts dropping . If these plans are implemented services around the country will deteriorate slowly and therefore not be noticed. CAMPAIGNS MUST POINT THIS OUT.

Phil Beesley said...

I can't distinguish between Cllr David Williams's proposals and gerrymandering.