Bassetlaw Council leader says super council will just cost people more

Coun Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw Council leader
Coun Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw Council leader

I read with interest the latest pieces from Coun Kay Cutts, the county council leader, trying to sell her vision of a super council for Nottinghamshire, writes Coun Simon Greaves.

A unitary council based in West Bridgford has been a long-held political dream for Coun Cutts and she called for one in 2016 in relation to the East Midlands Devolution Deal.

That didn’t go anywhere and now she’s at it again and this time she’s hanging it on the state of the county council’s finances.

Coun Cutts is now saying her administration is facing bankruptcy.

This is the same leadership that froze council tax for four years last time it was in power.

Perhaps one of the most productive things that could be done by the administration at County Hall is to take a proper look at the way it operates.

It hasn’t been serious in looking for savings and efficiencies, instead choosing to spend more money on pushing unitary status as the only game in town.

People aren’t daft and councillors need to be honest with them.

A super council is not the answer to the county’s financial problems.

Wiltshire went to unitary status in 2009 and this year it needs to cut £26 million from its budget.

Cornwall went to unitary status in 2009 and this year is proposing cutting 338 jobs to deliver another £77 million in savings.

County Durham went to unitary status in 2009 and has cut 2,720 posts and still needs to find another £39 million in savings by 2020.

The super council plan is just setting residents up for a future council tax bombshell.

It would see Bassetlaw Council disbanded and some services passed to parish and town councils.

Some of the parish and town councils in unitary areas are levying more a year than Bassetlaw currently receives in council tax.

Local people will just be hammered into paying more money but to a different council for less services.