North Norfolk District Council votes to oppose Norwich Unitary bid

Despite what the Eastern Daily Press might have said this week regarding North Norfolk supposedly backing Norwich City Council's bid for unitary status, North Norfolk councillors tonight overwhelmingly chose to oppose such plans and re-affirmed support for the current two tier status.

I know that the reason this was brought up at the full council meeting tonight was purely procedural so that North Norfolk could actually express an opinion, unfortunately, the EDP thought that this meant that the motion was going to be passed.

A few councillors told me after today's council meeting that they had been inclined to support the motion but had said that my comments had persuaded them otherwise. My main reasons for opposing Norwich's Unitary status are:

1) The cost, which is currently thought to be from £12million to £17 million, depending on whose estimates you read. There is also a further cost to residents of North Norfolk who would end up paying more because the current economies of scale from Norfolk County Council would be diminished.
2) The residents of Broadland, that Norwich wants to consume, are bitterly opposed to being part of Norwich. The fact that Norwich's own survey only showed about 40% support for their proposals shows just hoe much support they have.

Interestingly, and I am sure this is just a one off (at least I hope so), the Conservatives applauded my speech at council. I hope that does not become a habit.

Norwich City should use the money they are wasting on this proposal to improve people's lives in Norwich, not waste it on expensive proposals that do not have popular support.


Antony said...

Well said Cllr Starling. My main gripe is not the theory of unitary (romantic as it is) but the practicalities, lack of public support and reaction of our district partners.

This is costing us mere taxpayers a fortune which could have otherwise been put into sorting out our public services. Labour (and, to be fair, their LibDem cheerleaders) will have to account for this after the fiasco is over.

People will ask why we spent so much on a white elephant.

Antony said...

Nich do you know which 3 councillors voted for unitary and why they did it?