UNITARY GOVERNMENT: Not fit for purpose

Paul Foyster
Paul Foyster

Angela Newton’s recent letter regarding Unitary Local Government is interesting and certainly savings need to be made.

The new government will continue to cut funding. Speaking personally I don’t believe ever larger local authorities is the best way forward and the idea of county wide control by Lincolnshire CC horrifies me.

They are not fit for the purpose they serve now

They are not fit for the purpose they serve now. Previous reforms in local government demonstrate that when control and the cash flow that goes with it, moves to central locations, the centre benefits and the outlying areas lose out.

This is about more than just money, it’s also about people being able to influence what happens in their own district and town. SHDC does make a big effort to improve efficiency by sharing back office functions with other authorities and so far it works quite well.

More could be done of course and they do have plans for further sharing.

I don’t know how well this will work and there is a limit to how far councils could go, for one thing, in theory , there is a danger that over-worked staff with divided loyalties will not produce the best results and when too many people share, everyone gets a little less, but so far it at least looks promising.

Politicians in general and the public servants who do the actual work all like power and County Council members are no exception. A move to control from Lincoln will mainly benefit Lincoln, not South Holland. Similarly larger and less local authorities will do the same, Grantham for example could gain at the expense of South Holland.

UKIP will watch developments in this area closely and try to influence the outcome, irrespective of the political alliances of the elected members involved.