Make local government efficient and parish England, says NALC
NALC welcomes the recent surge in local government re-organisation and is urging the communities and principal authorities to create new local councils across areas which have not had them previously.
This comes at a time when NALC has launched a new platform on its website for offering support and guidance to organisations affected by local government re-organisation locally.
Currently England’s 10,000 local (parish and town) councils are represented in a patchwork quilt of different layers of local government. Some county areas (Herefordshire, Northumberland, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight) have county unitary councils and are fully parished. Other counties (e.g. Cheshire) have more than one unitary council. And other shire areas have a county council but either have urban unitaries under them, or often more than one district or borough council in their area.
NALC welcomes the recent moves to simplify local government structures in areas like Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Dorset, Somerset, West Suffolk and Leicestershire. It fully believes that local councils can deliver excellent services working in partnership with efficient strategic authorities covering their areas. For this reason NALC believes that all un-parished communities covered by areas undergoing Community Governance Reviews to re-organise local government – should have a local council.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: "In truth local councils are very flexible and work in partnership as well as they can with all principal local authorities in their areas. They are brilliant models to deliver hyper-local services for residents in their areas.”
“The problem is that there aren’t enough of them and in times of austerity people want responsive, targeted service delivery. That is why we welcome the move to simplify the principal authority tier of local government and create more efficiencies at that level. This has worked well in fully parished county unitary areas like Wiltshire, Cornwall, Northumberland and Herefordshire.”
“We want to see all of the areas about to undergo re-organisation fully parished.”