The government have shortlisted Norwich City Council and 17 other council for consideration of becoming unitary authorities, but in Norwich I have to ask at what cost ?
Norwich submitted two bids. The first was to become a unitary authority on its present boundaries. I doubt many people in Norfolk, other than those with a vested interest in the County Council could have come up with many reasons to oppose this simple plan. Indeed, I could see how working with neighbouring local authorities, this plan could be made to work for Norfolk and for Norwich.
So what is the problem ?
The problem was Norwich's second bid, a land grab, an attempted takeover of large chunks of neighbouring authorities, the proposed dismemberment and destruction of at least one neighbouring authority and the phony and false consultation with parishes. Let's get one thing clear straight away, this second bid was, from the start, a non compliant bid. The government's own rules said that councils could only apply for unitary status on their present boundaries. however, this didn't stop the government saying they would consider the second bid.
So what is the problem now the government have rejected the takeover bid in option two and gone for option one ? Simple, in going through with the option two bid, Norwich City Council have wrecked relations with Broadland and South Norfolk District Councils, they have upset parishes all around the city and they have caused large amounts of time, energy and money to be wasted by neighboring authorities and Norwich City Council itself to be wasted in making the case for and against option two.
So what now ? Well it appears that Norwich will be able to go it alone, but they have damaged the chances of neighbouring authorities ever wanting to work closely with Norwich again and left a feeling of animosity and anger amongst those outside Norwich. Many will so let Norwich go it alone, and good riddance !