Talks to create one ‘supercouncil’ to cover whole of county

Could Mansfield District Council soon become a thing of the past?
Could Mansfield District Council soon become a thing of the past?

Talks are under way to look into creating a new ‘supercouncil’ to cover the whole of Nottinghamshire and replace the current two-tier system of local government.

At present, the council is served by a county council and a cluster of district and borough councils, such as Mansfield District Council.

The county is responsible for providing some services, while the other councils take care of the rest, which is said to confuse residents.

Many politicians feel this set-up is now out of date and badly needs reform, so that services can be modernised and made more cost-effective.

The ‘supercouncil’ would be the biggest change to local government in Nottinghamshire for more than 40 years, but detailed analysis of the options has been drawn up and talks have begun in the first of a series of top-level meetings attended by all political parties.

A new working group is being chaired by Coun Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council. She said: “We believe there is a pressing case for change in the way local government is organised, so that we can deliver significant savings and improve the quality of services local people will receive.

“Having a confusing two-tier structure of local government is outdated, unnecessary and is no longer fit for purpose.

“The county, district and borough councils all serve the same electorate. Status quo is no longer a realistic option, so we must change if services are to survive.

“By having one senior management team, one council headquarters, one website and one contact phone number, we can make significant savings and improve the quality of services. However, the working group will scrutinise the evidence for and against all the options available.”

If the case for change is agreed, a major public consultation would begin early next year.