As the government considers the future of local government the Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council has welcomed a report which highlights the valuable work District Councils do.
One of the options the government is looking at in its devolution and recovery white paper is to increase the number of larger unitary councils covering a wider area.
In anticipation of the launch of the government’s devolution and recovery white paper this month and following the pre-emptive bids by some county councils for unitaries covering their own council footprints, the District Councils’ Network has launched a new report offering its own alternatives.
In ‘Power in Place: Devolution and districts driving our recovery’ the DCN highlights the enormous contributions councils like us make to their communities. It says devolution should back the success of districts in delivery rather than re-organising into larger authorities.
The report also claims that on average a single county unitary councils would be 4.5 times less representative of local communities than existing unitary councils and five times larger than the current average for all councils in England. These councils would be larger than any found across the whole of Europe.
The full report can be read at districtcouncils.info/news-coverage/power-in-place-devolution-and-districts-driving-our-recovery.
In West Lancashire we are a district of Lancashire County Council and have the local knowledge to provide vital services for our residents and businesses.
Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “This is a great report highlights the huge amount of work we do and shows how we are best placed to do this for our communities. The plans to abolish district councils in favour of county unitaries are centralisation, not devolution, and would create a “postcode lottery” in the value of each vote.”
We have agreed in principle to explore a Lancashire Combined Authority with other Lancashire councils. This would allow districts to work more closely together in a structured way and help improve economic development, skills and transport to benefit the whole county.