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What do our council leaders say?
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) leaders and councillors, along with councillors from other Leicestershire districts, have raised grave concerns about how such a move would affect local residents, saying they fear that merging the councils could result in residents paying for fewer services.
At a recent meeting of the council, HBBC councillors agreed the following:
- It is not in the best interests of residents to scrap HBBC in favour of a unitary council for Leicestershire.
- HBBC will undertake a survey, with Hinckley residents, to see if they are in favour of the introduction of a town council.
- HBBC will work with all other Leicestershire authorities to evaluate a range of options on how best to deliver local government services in Leicestershire.
- HBBC will work with all other East Midlands councils to consider the options for a Combined Authority/Strategic Alliance and to determine what powers this new authority would seek.
Cllr Mike Hall, Leader of the Council and HBBC Conservative Group Leader said:
I am well aware of the financial pressures being faced by County Councils across the east Midlands, but merging their services with those of the Borough and District councils is not the way to solve them. Whilst LCC are managing their budget, it is at a cost to some services and I believe that their latest proposals would be damaging to the services this council delivers to residents across Hinckley and Bosworth.
Cllr Stuart Bray, HBBC Liberal Democrat Group Leader said:
I strongly support sticking with the present structure. A large, remote super-council will take decision making away from local people. We have heard in the past week from the leadership of Shropshire Council, who have undergone a similar costly reorganisation, that they have diverted resources away from basic services such as maintaining parks and open spaces.
Cllr Matthew Lay, HBBC Labour Councillor said:
Over the years the Borough has worked hard to ensure it provides first class services to residents using directly employed workers and doing so with some of the lowest costs to tax payers in the country. It’s hard to see how any offer from LCC could be of benefit to residents in the Borough. It would be a massive step backwards and a betrayal of all our communities.
Leicestershire County Council (LCC) has much higher expenditure than Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) and the district or borough councils in Leicestershire. LCC hopes that creating a unitary authority will reduce its costs; however, this would also reduce the services provided to residents across the county. The running costs per head of population bar graph illustrates the total costs for LCC (£690.42), HBBC (£131.07) and an average of all district and borough councils in Leicestershire (£156.94). This information confirms that the running cost per head of population in HBBC is below the average for Leicestershire. This graph is taken from the Revenue Out-turn Service Expenditure Summary. Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (Revenue Out-turn (RSX)).
Last updated: 31/08/2018 10:22