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Nottinghamshire County Council to examine proposals to revisit idea of unitary authority for the whole of the county - despite the plan being scrapped in 2018

The county council will next week examine proposals to revisit the idea of a unitary authority in the county.

Nottinghamshire County Council policy committee will be asked to agree to write to Robert Jenrick — the Secretary of State for Local Government — asking him to invite the county's local authorities to submit proposals for a unitary structure.

County Hall. (42177860)
County Hall. (42177860)

The controversial plan to form a unitary authority was shelved in 2018­after it was fiercely resisted by district and borough councils.

The Conservatives on the county council wanted to scrap Nottinghamshire’s seven districts and borough councils ­— and the county council ­— and replace them all with one single council for the whole of Nottinghamshire, excluding the city.

They have estimated it would save £27m-£30m a year for taxpayers.

It comes just before the government is due to publish its White Paper — a government proposal — on developing government policy on regional devolution.

It is expected to require the forming of a unitary local government as a necessity to the establishment of combined authorities. The county council said it would be a means of accessing future investment for the county.

The report to be considered by members also outlines the financial challenges facing local government as a result of the covid pandemic and its long-term impact on public finances. It identifies the development of unitary local government in Nottinghamshire as more financially efficient in preserving and delivering effective public services.

Leader of the council Mrs Kay Cutts said: “I believe that unitary local government for our great county will deliver better services that everyone will be able to access more easily; better value for money for every council tax payer, and more prosperity for all.

"Government policy is certainly moving in that direction and recognises that to aid our recovery from the covid pandemic, structural reform to unlock investment is vital.

“The current system of local government in Nottinghamshire is out-dated, cumbersome, wasteful and costly. We have a unique opportunity now to build a new way of delivering modern, integrated public services that works for every resident.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has been asked by the Advertiser why a campaign it started in 2018 pushing a unitary restructure was still live, despite the previous plans being scrapped.

The report and letter that it is proposed be sent to Mr Jenrick can be accessed at https://future.nottinghamshire.gov.uk

More detailed information is available from https://future.nottinghamshire.gov.uk and via the MyNotts App

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