Top-Down Council Re-organisation Plans
By Peter Scorer
After two failed attempts at creating a Unitary Authority for Nottinghamshire, the County Council promised to work more closely with the nine Borough and District Councils. Better local services were promised by devolving and combining responsibilities.
Now, in a complete "U"turn, the County Council along with Nottingham, Derby and Derbyshire Councils have submitted a confidential and restricted bid to create a vast East Midlands Combined Authority. It follows the Governments own devolution plans publishes in February. This offered more local powers for Healthcare, transport, Education and Planning. However to get those powers a new combined authority would have to be created along with a directly elected Mayor. Borough and District Councils would no longer have any powers but could expect to be consulted.
Significant powers such as Planning and Development would be transferred from Newark and Sherwood to the new mega Authority with the Mayor given ultimate control. Despite promising that more local voices would be heard in Devolution, the Government now wants a centralised top-down solution. With a Mayor, the plans would add another layer to local Government requiring an extra payment to the Council Tax.