Commenting in response to independent studies looking into potential local government reorganisation in district and county areas published today by the County Councils Network (CCN), chairman of the District Councils’ Network (DCN), Cllr Neil Clarke, said: “Although this report raises some valid questions about public services and local economies in district and county areas, there should be a greater focus on placed-based public service reform, examining the benefit of clustering within, or even across county boundaries, to further reflect economic geography and natural communities.
“Successfully seizing on the devolution revolution in district and county areas requires a sophisticated and strategic approach, one built around providing the right tools for economic renewal and collaborative working – where districts have a proud record of driving efficiency and innovation.
“In our areas of England, the national agendas for housing and industrial strategy must be mapped around Functional Economic Areas, housing market areas and travel to work areas (TTWAs) that resonate with the daily lives of the 22 million residents we serve, and not ancient ceremonial boundaries.
“As a network, the DCN is clear that when it comes to devolution it should be for local areas to determine what works best for their locality and many of our members have demonstrated an appetite for the transformation of local services where there is local need and consensus. One size does not fit all.”