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Unitary authority - joint statement by council leaders

Update on behalf of the district and borough council leaders of Leicestershire.

Blaby District Council | Charnwood Borough Council | Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council | Harborough Borough Council | Melton Borough Council | North West Leicestershire District Council | Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

The district and borough council leaders of Leicestershire have agreed to work together to review the current model of local government for Leicestershire.

We as council leaders wish to adopt a collaborative approach to examine what may be the best way of delivering local services for residents in the county, and in the wider context of the East Midlands region.

This new collaborative approach will examine what is both cost effective in how services may be delivered and how best to retain their link with local residents. Such models may mean stronger district councils working within a combined authority or having multiple unitary authorities, or whether the current structure is still the best way of delivering local services.

We have a number of reservations as to the model proposed by Leicestershire County Council , not least the rushed timetable and it being too remote for local residents. However, we recognise that it may be premature to rule it out at this early stage.

Accordingly the council leaders have pledged to work together to find the right solution for the residents of Leicestershire and look forward to engaging with our elected partners, stakeholders and residents to deliver the best in local government for Leicestershire and the East Midlands region.  

We would invite the county council and others to join us in this approach, as collectively, we have the expertise to determine the best solution for our residents.

Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The idea of joint authorities isn’t new in this area and other parts of the country have gone through the process. It’s very early days in this and we remain open minded at this point.

“We support the district and county councils working to establish the best way of providing local services to local people whilst looking at the bigger picture of where we are in the region and in the country.

“We will always put the interests of people in North West Leicestershire first and will look at all evidence showing how services could be shared for best value and best service for people living and working locally.

“As far as I can see there are three options on the table if not more. We could remain as we are now, we could create one large unitary authority or we could create some smaller unitary authorities across the county. I remain open to all options and will base any decision on evidence and what is right for North West Leicestershire residents.”

Published: Thu 26 July, 2018

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