Unitary authority experiences

  TOPCAT® 14:56 09 May 2007

Can anyone please advise me on whether they find life under a unitary authority is better or worse than under a local or district council? This is aimed primarily at people who have experienced both, of course.

The reason I ask is explained click here and if this proposal comes about then we will lose our district councils, councillors and many affiliated jobs as well.

According to the article our county council will be holding a public consultation. If such a move follows their previous public consultations then I fear most of the people of this county will hear nothing.

Both county and district authorities will obviously 'plead their case' so your observations will certainly help me decide, if and when the voting papers drop through my door. Thank you very much for your time and comments. TC.

  Woolwell 16:21 09 May 2007

My only experience of a unitary council is with Plymouth. In this case it made sense to separate from Devon giving local control rather than having everything run from Exeter. Similarly Torbay went on the same route. However a unitary authority has got to be big enough to properly run all of it services and initially there were definitely teething problems. Exeter now wants to have unitary status and I have my doubts whether this will work. From a council tax perspective I have lived within Plymouth and in the South Hams and cannot state that I have noticed a great deal of difference. Refuse collection, although fortnightly, is probably better in the South Hams than in Plymouth. I think that the ruling political party can make a difference as priorities will change.

As far as Cornwall is concerned I would have concerns about losing local representation and knowledge but some of the districts within Cornwall I understand are having difficulties employing staff with the right knowledge and coping with planning regulations etc. In Cornwall there may well be savings through combining functions centrally. It should not affect education, health, police or fire.

Hope that this helps.

  g0slp 16:33 09 May 2007

Durham wants to go this way too. I'm not yet convinced that it's the right way to go.

  STREETWORK 20:42 09 May 2007

Our housing estate wants to set up its own authority...

  laurie53 22:56 09 May 2007

Things are set up differently in Scotland of course, but there is certainly a feeling locally, shared by me, that that Fife Council, based in a more central densely populated area, is too remote from our mainly agricultural/fishing area and does not understand that our problems may be different


  TOPCAT® 13:03 10 May 2007

Thank you for your observations which I have duly taken on board. I also notice that you are domiciled right 'next door' to me so it's definitely a small world, as they say.

I have mixed feelings concerning this proposed major change and have tended to think it is better to stay with the devil you know, as you point out. On the other hand and after living and working here for many years, I also feel that it is high time that Cornwall had a change of direction for the betterment of the county, its industry and residents. A change to a unitary authority with the best kind of people employed there could hopefully accomplish this, provided the remuneration is sufficient to attract them in the first place.

I fell in love with this county many years ago and feel it has much more to offer with the correct guidance, as this twenty-first century unfolds. TC.

  Woolwell 14:41 10 May 2007


This may interest you:
click here

  Weskit 14:48 10 May 2007

Somerset likewise. Do I forsee a unitary authority for Wessex, possibly with our own parliament?...Scotland has gone that way...

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