Councillors support unitary debate

First published in News

THE leader of Stratford District Council (SDC) has said a unitary authority in Warwickshire could work as long as people had a local councillor to contact.

As previously reported, Warwickshire County Council is currently exploring the opportunities of having a unitary authority which would replace current district and borough councils and take over responsibilities for services such as rubbish collection, council housing and planning.

The council said a unitary authority could save £17million a year and reduce the number of councillors in the county from 272 to less than 100.

But councillor Chris Saint, who also represents Shipston on the county council, told members of Shipston Town Council at their meeting on Monday night that having councillors on a local level was still very important if a unitary council went ahead.

"You've got to look at efficient use of services," he said. "I think some things could be done more effectively at that level but you've got to have that level underneath to make certain people can have a local council through which they can make contact and channel their issues.

"I think sometimes it doesn't matter who does what because you're just the council. I do think it's important to make certain we do have local councillors to make certain they do preserve the contact with people."

Meanwhile, Councillor Kenner, district councillor for Shipston on Stratford District Council, said he supported a unitary authority but said there needed to be two for the north and south of the county.

"It's too large and complex area to have one for the while of Warwickshire," he said. "We do need to see what the implications would be for staffing. In principal I'm fully agreeing with it."

A report is being prepared by SDC which will be presented in June.

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