Why a unitary authority for Nottinghamshire makes financial sense
Councillor Reg Adair, Deputy Leader at Nottinghamshire County Council, says his years in business and running national and international manufacturing companies is why he believes local government must change so that we can give the Nottinghamshire taxpayer a better deal.
I have been in involved in politics for more than 20 years, working at every level from grass roots to the Deputy Leader of the County Council, and over that time I have seen many examples of waste, duplication and inefficiencies within councils.
My role in business has often been a financial one, so I know only too well what it’s like to keep a firm hold on the money and know where every penny is being spent. And I can tell you that most successful companies would not run their businesses the way local government in Nottinghamshire is currently run.
It’s quite clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has indeed accelerated a need for change in local government as the finances of every council in Nottinghamshire have been severely affected over the last 6 months, and indeed will be for the foreseeable future. The County Council is forecasting a deficit of £44.1m in this financial year.
That’s why it is imperative that we look at re-organising councils in Nottinghamshire, getting rid of the current two-tier system makes perfect sense in these financially worrying times.
Not only is the current system both wasteful and confusing, it is expensive.
With my financial hat on it makes absolutely no sense to have eight separate council headquarters, eight chief executives, and duplication across executives, senior managers, and back-office functions.
It is just too costly, and taxpayers ultimately pay for it through their Council Taxes.
It’s been estimated that moving to a single unitary authority in Nottinghamshire could save up to £27 million a year. That’s money that could be spent on frontline services like adult and children’s social care, highways investment, waste management and making sure Nottinghamshire builds a strong, resilient economic base post-Covid.
To make sure this county is at the top table when funding for major projects and infrastructure schemes is being handed out, we must look at change.
We are currently asking people their views and what’s important to them, their families, their communities going forward, doing nothing over the coming years is no longer an option.
It is my wish that council tax bills in Nottinghamshire do not spiral upwards over the next decade, and we can only do that by making savings NOW.
That’s why I’m supporting a bid for local government reorganisation because now is the right time for unitary status in Nottinghamshire. It is the logical option.
Put simply, it is better, simpler and saves taxpayers money.