I was very surprised to read the comments from both Mayor Tony Egginton and conservative county councillor Kay Cutts about the deficiencies in our local government structure.
They both were saying in effect that that their own local authorities were “past their sell by dates” and ought to be abolished! I must say that I would give greater credence to their views had it not been the case that Mr Egginton is coming to the end of his term of office and Mrs Cutts’ party has lost control of Notts county council!
I do however support their opinions that there are too many councils in Notts. It is not true to say that the present structure has been around for forty years as some years ago Nottingham was allowed to disengage from its links with the county council and run all their local council services themselves as a unitary authority.
I am at a loss to know why other areas such as Mansfield were not also allowed such freedom. Is it too much to ask for us to have a council that is truly local and working for exclusively for Mansfield district? Surely not! I
f it’s good enough for Nottingham it must be suitable for us as well. Councillor Cutts suggests that the county should be divided in to two, each having a unitary authority. She links Mansfield with Ashfield and Bassetlaw using the present council boundaries. With due respect that is a shorthand way of deciding how the county should be split.
By using Mrs Cutts’ formula places such as Rainworth, Blidworth, and Clipstone would be included in the southern half of the county. These communities are part of Mansfield and this would be an opportunity to make them an integral part of our local community. By contrast I suspect that the majority of people in Hucknall would jump at the chance of coming out of Ashfield and joining up with Nottingham city.
These examples show that the existing council boundaries are totally out of date, in my opinion. One thing is certain, local government cannot carry on as at present. I’m not sure many of our present elected representatives would support the closing down of existing councils on the principle that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas!
It could be that if UKIP continue to gain public support and take control in Westminster they could well turn their attention to making local government more efficient, once they have sorted out Europe of course!
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