A Unitary Norwich plus Norfolk to keep its District Councils ? - Let's hope it is true

The EDP reports that government minister John Denham, who has responsibility for making the decision about the bids for unitary status in Norfolk, may decide to keep the present council system, but allow Norwich City Council to become a Unitary Authority on its existing boundaries.

Firstly, can I say how pleased I am if this is the decision. Not because I particularly want to change education authorities (as I work in Norwich), but because I have long been an advocate of keeping the existing district councils which are more in touch and often more relevent to local people in our village and small town communities across Norfolk.

When I was a North Norfolk District Councillor I was applauded loudly by the Tory Councillors for my passionate speech in defence of District Councils and in opposition of plans by Norwich City council to take over vast areas of Broadland District Council, leaving the rest of Broadland to be scattered amongst neighbouring authorities. The Tory who was due to speak after me merely stated "I agree 100% with councillor Starling and have nothing else to add". Indeed my position and arguments against the unitary authority demands made by the Labour run Norwich City Council was praised by a local Tory Parliamentary candidate in comments sent to this blog.

We are not to know yet whether the rumours are true, but I know that people here in Taverham have no wish to be taken over by Norwich City Council. I am sure that people in the West of the County in places like Clenchwarton (where I lived as a child) and those in Diss, Bacton and Gorleston, all feared that their local councils with local offices would be abolished in favour of a remote Norfolk County Council based in Norwich.

An announcement is expected next week. Fingers crossed that we stay here in Taverham as part of Broadland District Council (despite the rather odd decisions and money wasted by the Tories locally). Given the was the Tories have mismanaged the County Council, being taken over by that body would have been an unmitigated disaster !


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this Nick. People like the idea of local councils. Too many things were centralised under the Tories, and Unitary Authorities might have so validity were they not so remote and very often too large.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think there should be referendums of the people for things like this. Very few want to loose their local councils. The Tories will give far more power to local councils and will reverse any changes labour make. So vote Tory to keep your local council.