Unitary authority idea for Warwickshire moves a step forward

By Rob Cox Friday 07 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 09:48

A LOCAL government shake-up that would see one council deliver all services across Warwickshire will be given further consideration.

Forming a unitary body would replace the current network of district and borough councils which manage things like rubbish collection, council housing, leisure facilities, and planning matters.

In the wake of sweeping government cuts, it has been claimed the move could save an estimated £50 million a year. It could also cut council tax by £30 a year for the average band D property.

Members of Warwickshire County Council paved the way for further analysis of the possible benefits and a public consultation on the idea at a recent meeting.

Coun Izzi Seccombe, Conservative leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is a debate about Warwickshire’s people and how they see their future.

“It is a real opportunity to drive forward a single council that would be more relevant, vibrant, respond better and have quicker decision making as well as the economies of scale, and put into the local communities the opportunity to really relate to their communities.”

But in order to proceed the idea is likely to need the backing of all local authorities in the county.

As reported in the Standard two weeks ago, Stratford District Council leader Chris Saint said his “mind is open to persuasion” about creating a unitary authority but the leader of Warwick District Council has rejected the idea saying there are other ways savings can be made.

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