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The Conservative-run Warwickshire County Council is proposing to drastically shake up local government in Warwickshire by scrapping local district and borough councils in favour of a single authority for the whole county.
It’s simply wrong to plough ahead with drastic changes to how local government and local services are operated without going through a proper consultation with residents. I’m opposing this proposal and instead believe we should explore different options with the general public. I’m afraid that these plans were made in self-interest by the County Council leadership.
Setting aside the lack of consultation, the plans themselves are deeply concerning. I don’t believe centralising power into one, potentially distant Council is the way forward. Likewise, the idea of a Mayor of Warwickshire is faintly ridiculous.
The leadership of Warwickshire County Council also suggest that this move will save money. However, I believe this could actually cost more than it saves, especially in the short to medium term.
Just look across the country where similar plans have been implemented: Torbay Council became distant to many residents, and the shake-up cost them more than it saved and had to cut all non-essential spending as a result.
I implore the County Council to withdraw their rushed-through plans and instead undertake a proper and open consultation exercise – together with District / Borough Councils – to ensure we get the best democratic structure that works in the interests of Warwickshire residents.