Day: 15 May 2016

Shropshire’s unitary council has failed and it's hurting our county

I want to write “the unitary experiment has failed”. But it’s not an experiment, it’s the real thing. And the political failure of the unitary council is damaging our county. The unitary council’s idea of civic leadership is to keep to itself grant money that the government intended for town and parish councils. It leads the county by telling local councils they have weeks to adopt services such as libraries, museums and leisure centres, or they will be closed down. Its concept of leading is to hold down its council tax but exhort parish and town councils to raise their precepts through the roof. The unitary council was established to bring together county services under one organisation. This would save costs. We would get better services for less money. Few people in this part of Shropshire thought the move to a unitary authority was a good idea. But it happened anyway.

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