Nottinghamshire County Council is undertaking public engagement about the structure of local government in the County and is keen for local people to have their say in this important debate.
For further information please read the Future Notts engagement document [PDF] at the bottom of this article.
Nottinghamshire County Council says on the consultation:
‘Your opinions about the future of local government in Nottinghamshire will inform the ‘case for change’ that will be considered at a County Council meeting in December.
‘If you live or work in Nottinghamshire share your views and thoughts by filling in the open questionnaire online or a hard copy at any Nottinghamshire County Council library.
‘The public engagement will run between Wednesday 3 October and Wednesday 31 October 2018.
‘The public engagement work is being carried out by an impartial, independent company, Opinion Research Services, who will be reporting the findings back to the County Council in December.
The current make up of Councils across Nottinghamshire
There are currently eight separate councils (excluding the City of Nottingham) across different parts of Nottinghamshire in a ‘two-tier’ structure, in which services are divided between the County Council and seven Borough or District councils.
Like all local authorities across the UK, Nottinghamshire County Council is facing increasing financial pressures on services due to reduced funding from government and increasing demand. The County Council’s main source of government funding has fallen by £120m since 2013/14, at a time when demand for services – especially social care – has increased considerably. Despite the County Council saving over £270m in the last few years, under different political leaderships, we still face a budget gap of £54m.
Why are we running public engagement?
Nottinghamshire County Council believes it is time to explore the structure of local government across the county – to protect and improve service delivery, make it easier for residents to engage with their council, and ensure the councils are as efficient, effective and financially sustainable as possible while providing best value for taxpayers’ money.
The County Council is considering a range of options that could develop a better system of local government for Nottinghamshire and may replace the eight councils in the two-tier system with one or more unitary councils providing all government services.
When looking at whether changes are needed, we will take account of government criteria and advice which states that any proposal for changing local government should:
- improve local government and service delivery:
- Give greater value for money
- Achieve significant cost savings
- Provide stronger strategic and local leadership
- Deliver a more sustainable structure
- Provide better outcomes for local people.
- be based on a credible geography (with a population substantially in excess of 300,000 but no known defined upper limit)
- command a good deal of local support.
How to get involved?
This document includes; background information on the make-up of councils within Nottinghamshire, the options that could be considered and the government criteria to make any future changes along with outline timings.