Hucknall and Ashfield not about to become part of a 'super-council' says county leader

The leader of Nottinghamshire Council has written to the leaders of all district authorities in the county to assure them over suggested Government plans that their councils could be scrapped.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:08 pm

Coun Ben Bradley MP (Con), council leader, penned the letter in response to concerns raised by Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), Ashfield District Council leader, following an alleged leak of the upcoming Levelling Up White Paper.

The leak suggested Whitehall plans to bring in top-down local government reorganisation as part of its new devolution ‘county deals’.

Reports suggested areas such as Nottinghamshire, which are governed in a two-tier system could be reformed into a single-tier, unitary system.

Coun Ben Bradley (left) has written to borough and district council leaders like Coun Jason Zadrozny (right) to reassure them over 'super-council' fears

This new system, could involve proposals similar to the ‘super-council’ plans unsuccessfully attempted by former county council leader Kay Cutts.

However, Coun Bradley, who replaced Mrs Cutts as leader in May, confirmed he has written to Coun Zadrozny and all other district and borough leaders on the issue.

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In the letter, he provides assurances from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that ‘top-down reorganisation’ is off the cards.

Coun Bradley wrote: “We all know Government has never been willing to force single-tier governance and the criteria as it stands would not enable that to happen in Nottinghamshire, given there is not a ‘good deal of local support’.

Supporters of the changes say the current system ‘no longer serves the interests of residents and taxpayers’, with Mrs Cutts previously describing having eight Nottinghamshire authorities as ‘wasteful and confusing’.

But the proposals, which could have led to what many described as a ‘super-council’, were opposed amid fears decision-making could be taken away from communities and lead to job losses across the authorities.

Coun Zadrozny said: “I thank Coun Bradley and welcome his opposition to his own Government, but this will not go away.”

A Government spokesman said: “There are no plans for top-down local government restructuring. Our approach is to empower local leaders.”