‘A loss of local knowledge’ could be a major issue under new blueprint

Cotswold Journal: Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

NEWS of the proposed council shake-up has prompted a mixed reaction in the Cotswolds.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, has given the move his support.

“I am all in favour of any collective working which reduces back office costs,” he said.

“This will give better value for money for our constituents, who are council tax payers, whilst at the same time maintaining democratic legitimacy and accountability through the elected councillors of each council.”

And Councillor Tom Lewis, chairman of Moreton Town Council, is another firm supporter.

“My personal view is a positive one,” he said. “Any time councils get together to share resources and ideas can only be positive.

“It can only protect a more effective way of spending taxpayers’ money.

“The last thing taxpayers want is taxes to rise so any incentive councils can put together to assist that, I think can be good.”

Alun White, mayor of Stow, supports saving money but has some concerns about what the move would mean for the individual councils and the areas they represent.

“If it saves council tax payers’ money and it maintains services, it’s probably a good idea,” he said.

“That said, you might get a loss of local knowledge so there’s a down side as well as an upside to it.”

David Glaisyer, chairman of Moreton Hospital League of Friends, is concerned with adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.

“I think you have to be aware each county’s needs are slightly different,” he said.

“Bigger isn’t necessarily beautiful unless they take care of the county’s requirements.”

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