Top-Down Council Re-organisation
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. By combining and devolving responsibilities it aims to deliver better local services.
In February this commitment was thrown into doubt when the Government published its own devolution plans. It 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 is now offering a centralised top-down imposition. With a Mayor, the plans would add another layer to local Government requiring an extra payment to the Council Tax.