Consultation for reforming local government in Cumbria and Lancaster, North Yorkshire, and Somerset
Date: 23rd April 2021
The proposals for reforming local government represent a critical issue for the local leadership and delivery of services across the towns and cities in which residents live, work and play. It is especially critical now as councils work with partners locally to plot the economic and health recovery from the greatest crisis since World War II.
This short submission sets the consultations in the wider context of what we know are the risks of creating huge units of local government as proposed by the county councils in each of the three areas.
It summarises some of the key conclusions of over 300 genuinely independent rigorous evidenced studies from around the world, which ultimately conclude that larger councils like those proposed by the counties:
1. Do not guarantee more efficient or effective services
2. Do lead to falling public trust, engagement, and sense of belonging
Residents inherently understand this and, when asked, consistently vote against creating larger more remote local government.
We have been disappointed by the extent that this consultation process is open in engaging with residents on the reforms, and the Chair of the DCN’s Chief Executive Group has written to outline these concerns, with no reply.
Further information is available through the report Bigger is not better: the evidenced case for keeping ‘local’ government.