Norwich's bid to become a Unitary Authority has been mismanaged and badly handled, from a publicity point of view, since day one of the process. And today it has come in for more bad press.
In the first instance Norwich decided to put in a non compliant bid. This bid attempted a takeover of large chunks of neighbouring Broadland and South Norfolk. They failed to consult before the bid went in, only attempting some piecemeal consultation with local parishes after they had already made their decisions (and of course after they had already alienated the parishes). Whilst their takeover attempt has also annoyed Broadland and South Norfolk Councils.
Okay, Labour run Norwich (with their Green allies) might argue that this bid has not been accepted and their current bid is based only on the council's existing boundaries. However, this has not stopped Norwich City Council claiming that they will, if they get Unitary Status, attempt to get the Norwich boundaries redrawn to make another takeover attempt.
Now, after a series of reports that Norwich's financial claims about the bid do not add up, the Eastern Daily Press reports that their bid may have a detrimental affect other district adjoining Norwich, particularly if Norwich continue and are successful in their takeover.
For North Norfolk or South Norfolk Council to take over running services to the most rural parts of Broadland and South Norfolk whilst the urban parts, with lower costs, are siphoned off in to Norwich, is to pass on massive increases in tax to residents of other councils. I argued this back in January 2007 at full council in North Norfolk. I am pleased the EDP now realises that this could happen.