Preparing reorganisation is a pointless distraction
Only Somerset, North Yorkshire and Cumbria have been asked to submit unitary proposals. Steve Leach and Colin Copus say local authorities should reflect ‘real places, not artificial constructs, with which people have no affinity’.
A golden chance for reform
The leaders of Cumbria, Somerset, and North Yorkshire Cllrs Stewart Young, David Fothergill and Carl Les explain why they believe a single county unitary for each of their areas is the best option on the table.
Combined authority expansion halted by ‘party politics’
The expansion of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has stalled after leaders failed to reach an agreement.
In choppy waters, back districts to deliver
The debate on local government reform must end now, ‘so that all areas can focus on the crisis in their communities’, argues chair of the District Councils Network Cllr John Fuller.
Council grants managing director redundancy request
The managing director of Wellingborough BC is to leave ahead of the council ceasing to exist next year.
EXCLUSIVE: Shevlin suggests reorganisation alternative as rival bids threaten his council's future
A former chair of the District Councils’ Network chief executives’ group has suggested a radical alternative to reorganisation as battle lines are drawn around him.
Making Counties Count: Don’t they Already?
Steve Leach and Colin Copus argue a move to county-based unitaries would ‘draw local government away from recognisable communities and increase the drift to meaningless conglomerates’.
Reorganisation hopes renewed for counties
Ministers have given hope to counties pushing for local government reorganisation as they give mixed messages to the sector.
South east urged to find its voice
Councils in the south east of England have been urged to find a consensus on reorganisation by a local government expert.
Reorganisation battle lines drawn over think-tank report
The bitter war of words between counties and districts over reorganisation stepped up this week as battle lines were drawn around a new think-tank report.
Jenrick dashes county reorganisation hopes
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has torpedoed plans for widespread reorganisation beyond the three areas he has invited to submit unitary proposals.
Three areas invited to submit unitary proposals
The Government has today invited councils in three areas to submit proposals for the creation of unitary local authorities by April 2023.
Unitary aims to set standard for devo deals
Buckinghamshire Council is to reveal proposals for a devolution deal that it hopes will become a template for non-metropolitan authorities nationwide.
Making it local – real reform over reorganisation
By putting reform ahead of re-organisation in Somerset, the districts have developed a case for change that’s distinct to place-based context and local priorities, say Georgina Cox and Alex Parmley
Unitary 'mayhem' has failed to arrive thus far
The public may care often care a lot about key local services but aren't so interested in the structure of local government, says Ben Page. He expects councils' endless ability to just 'get on with it' on instructions from Whitehall will continue.
Central government needs to stand back
Dr Jonathan Carr-West asks if anyone has any sense of a sustained strategic focus on tackling the pandemic from government, and he feels only local government can manage the alignment of social, environmental and economic recovery that we need.
Williams in reorganisation rescue bid to Boris
The County Councils’ Network’s (CCN) Conservative leader has made a brazen direct appeal to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he seeks to salvage the reorganisation agenda.
Future Forum: Business rates retention is doomed
Moves to fund local government using the proceeds from business rates are ‘doomed,’ according to a financial expert.
Five ways to be ahead of the curve
Ruth Morgan and Sean Anstee put forward five recommendations to consider when putting together proposals for local government reform. ‘Let’s grab the opportunity to secure lasting change for our communities’, they add.
County unitaries join growing network
Two county unitaries are among five local authorities that have joined the growing Unitary Councils’ Network (UCN) as tensions bubble around reorganisation.