Smart Transport

Radical council review could establish 25 local authorities to save £3bn

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network

The County Councils Network (CCN) has said scrapping 213 smaller councils in England to replace them with 25 local authorities would save £3 billion.

A report put together for CCN by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said merging district and county councils in each area into a single unitary council could save £2.94bn over five years nationally.

However, the report also warns that creating two unitary authorities in one county would reduce the savings by two thirds.

It has been suggested in some two-tier areas that through the process of reorganisation, disaggregated smaller unitary authorities could delegate strategic growth functions, such as transport, to a new combined authority to maintain strategic scale in delivery.

Across most of England, local government operates under a two-tier system, with both a county council and a district council providing services.

The report concludes a single unitary in each area would reduce complexity and give communities a single unified voice to Government.

CCN says that the report outlines a ‘compelling’ financial case for the creation of more single county unitaries in areas where councils seek reorganisation.

It said this will help ‘safeguard’ council services in the wake of the pandemic, while ensuring councils are of the necessary size to drive forward the economic recovery and devolution agendas.

PwC summarise that the “implementation of single unitaries in each of England’s 25 two-tier areas would deliver significantly greater benefit” and if “an alternative approach be pursued the process of disaggregating current county services does present a number of material costs, but also non-financial risks and complexities”.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: “The consequences of coronavirus for local government finances, and the need to work quickly to support the economic recovery, means more councils want to look again at how local government is structured in their area.

“This Government has already signalled that it wants to see many more unitary councils created and it is important we get it right for our residents – we do not want to look back on this period as a missed opportunity.

“The findings from PwC show there is a compelling financial case for the creation of more unitary counties where councils seek reorganisation.

"They will provide significant savings to support frontline services and the stability needed to safeguard care services as we continue to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

"Crucially, it will create councils of the necessary size to support local economies to recover from the pandemic and drive forward the devolution and levelling up agendas."

The Government is expected to publish its own proposals on overhauling local government in the autumn.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.

 

Conference speakers

Agenda topics

 

Watch now



Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Related content




Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    Peterborough
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Smart Transport is the UK's most important brand to bring together senior public policy makers and influential private sector leaders to showcase real-time solutions aligned to government policy.
  •  
  • Find out more
  • Insight
  •  

 

Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Lindsay Greatbatch for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo

 

Smart Transport members

Smart Transport members 2022

Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.