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Timetable agreed for unitary proposal

Initial proposals will now be drawn up, ahead of consultation & engagement

A timetable for developing proposals for a “new, 21st century council” for Leicestershire has been set out.

Last Friday (29 June), County Council Leader Nick Rushton said he wanted to start a conversation about creating a unitary authority to replace the county council and the seven district councils.

Initial proposals will now be drawn up over the summer and early thoughts sought from residents, district councils, businesses, MPs, universities and other people this autumn. 

A full public consultation on more detailed proposals is planned for early next year.

 

I have decided to start a debate about how best to deliver local government services in Leicestershire.

It’s important we consider sensible options to get a better deal for our tax payers and those who rely on public services. For now, we must accept that the two-tier local government system is broken. It’s bureaucratic, old fashioned, confusing, inefficient and takes money away from front-line services.

 One, 21st century council would reduce duplication of services, save at least £30m each year and improve services. Working with parishes and creating town councils in places like Loughborough and Coalville would also enable us to build stronger links with communities - giving residents a greater say in local services. Other unitary councils are already experiencing these benefits.

 

Today (Friday), the council’s cabinet discussed and approved a report about next steps and timings. Officers will also now work with East Midlands colleagues to develop plans for a Strategic Alliance for the region.

 

We now need to spend time exploring and working up more detailed options for the structure of local government in Leicestershire, drawing on research and the experiences of other councils.  

Seeking the views of residents, district councils, MPs, businesses, universities and others is key and I look forward to a constructive and informed debate.

 
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