Earlier this week the DCLG announced the results of the bids for unitary status that had been made earlier in the year by many councils up and down the country.

The successful bids are:

Councils Submitting  Proposals

Proposed unitary structure

Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Unitary

Chester City Council

2 Unitary Cheshire

Cornwall County Council

County Unitary

Durham County Council

County Unitary

Exeter City Council

Exeter Unitary

Ipswich Borough Council

Ipswich Unitary

Northumberland County Council

County Unitary

Shropshire County Council

County Unitary

Wiltshire County Council

County Unitary

I don’t want to get into the rights and wrongs of the move.  The drivers seem to be efficiency and cost savings and that is not our bag.  One observation I will make is that on the whole County Councillors that we deal with tend to be more corporate, more professional and less personal than the District Councillors we deal with (Unitary and Metropolitan’s are a mixed bag).  This is not a criticism, nor unexpected, but I would advise councillors in the new County Unitaries not to lose the personality and time for constituents that District Councillors seemed to have.

On another aspect I am intrigued how Bedfordshire, Devon, and Suffolk will deal with their County Halls.  I see Nottinghamshire craftily ensured that their County Hall is just south of the Trent in their own authority, but Leicestershire seem to remain in the Leicester unitary authority.


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