Thursday, 11 February 2010

Useless Unitary Utterances

Whatever your thoughts were on the proposed unitary status for Norfolk, what can't be overlooked is the complete waste of taxpayer's money on the resulting rejected report from the Department for Communities and Local Government.  In October 2006 the then Secretary of State issued an invitation to two-tier principal local authorities, district and county councils, in England to submit proposals for a change to unitary or single-tier status. The invitation stated that any change to unitary local government should:
• be affordable;
• be supported by a broad cross-section of partners and stakeholders;
• provide strong, effective and accountable strategic leadership;
• deliver genuine opportunities for neighbourhood flexibility and empowerment; and
• deliver value-for-money and equity in public services
The Unitary Structures Team concluded, after two reports in 2008 and 2009, that Norfolk should become a single tier authority.

So why did the Secretary of State ignore this and decide to let things remain the same except for Norwich changing to a unitary authority? Norwich councillors wanted this but the general consensus from Norfolk MPs is surprise and astonishment. Some thoughts on what the changes may mean for you in the EDP.
Suffolk seems to have been unable to reach any unity under consultation and has been left alone to remain a wholly district and county council structure. At least the mad idea of moving Lowestoft into Norfolk was dropped!

Here's the final report you have paid for, whether a Norfolker or not.  Read, digest and ignore (and feel like a Secretary of State).

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