Local Government Reorganisation

I am a retired local government officer having spent the last half of my working life in a County Planning and Highways Department and the other half in private industry. Much of my time with the County Council was spent liaising with District Council Planners, Private Developers and Parish Councils with regards to developments, highways issues and Parish Plans. Road traffic accidents were discussed with the Police on a regular basis. I attended many presentations to the general public and met up with Headteachers to discuss safe routes to school and parking problems. I also managed a number of schemes for the pedestrianisation of town centres and new cycle routes. The process of introducing changes is very time consuming and my suggestion is that the whole process of development could be made more efficient if there were just two layers of Local Government. If the responsibilities of the District councils were transferred to the Counties and to the Parish and Town Councils with the necessary staff there could be numerous advantages: ‚- cost saving ‚- reduce duplication of services ‚- Counties would have overall planning control for developments so Highways, Education and Health provision can be considered at an early stage ‚- Parishes and Town Councils are more familiar with local problems and know where local industry is desirable and what housing is required together with knowing where footpaths and cycleways are needed. Those with Neighbourhood Plans are aware of all these issues ‚- Waste collection, recycling and disposal could become a County responsibility leading to efficiencies ‚- savings in buildings occupied, vehicle use and simpler communication ‚- it would be more obvious to the general public who was responsible for which service with more direct access.




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