Mansfield's Mayor disappointed in 'super-council' plans

Mansfield's Mayor disappointed in 'super-council' plans
Mansfield's Mayor disappointed in 'super-council' plans

Mayor Kate Allsop said she was not against change but any change that she did support must be in the best interests of Mansfield district residents.

Nottinghamshire County Council yesterday published detailed plans for how a new ‘super-council’ in Nottinghamshire would work.

The proposal, which has been put forward by the Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council, would involve scrapping seven district and borough councils, and the county council, and setting up one new authority for the whole of the county, outside the city.

READ MORE: What would 'super-council' mean for you?

Seven different options were initially considered, with some involving a North / South split, but now one single council has been chosen as the preferred outcome.

Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of the district council, has said that a unitary council would save £27 million per year.

Ms Allsop, however, has said that although saving money was important, the interests of the communities in the area should be at the heart of proposals.

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She said: “I am not convinced that the county council’s preferred option of creating a single unitary ‘super council’ is best for our local communities. I hope that the county council will decide further work is required when it considers the business case report on December 13.

“It’s a great concern that the county council is pressing ahead with the plans when less than 3,000 residents out of 817,851 who live in the county responded to the consultation and the majority who did were against the idea of replacing districts with a single unitary authority.

READ MORE: Nottinghamshire’s MPs weigh in on ‘super council’ proposals
“It is clear that a key driving force behind these plans is the fact that the county council is facing significant financial challenges. We recognise that and would encourage them to save money by sharing services with other councils as we already do here in Mansfield.

“Whilst saving money is important, it is not the only consideration and the interests of local communities should be at the heart of any proposal. Local government should be local to the people it serves and not miles away in West Bridgford, which is not easily accessible to our residents.

READ MORE: Secretary of State ‘poured cold water’ over Nottinghamshire's proposed ‘super-council’
“We have grave concerns about what the proposal would mean for the future of some of our greatest assets. What would happen to our Museum and Palace Theatre, our parks and open spaces, or our award-winning ASSIST service, which supports our most vulnerable residents? We provide many other services above and beyond the statutory minimum, including our Community Safety team.

“I remain committed to working with the county council and alongside other district leaders to ensure that any change provides better services and meets the needs of Mansfield and its residents.”

READ MORE: Councillor 'genuinely angry' over Nottinghamshire ‘supercouncil’ plans