New unitary proposals published

Boundary CommitteeThe Boundary Committee for England yesterday published two new draft proposals for unitary local government in Norfolk for consultation - a single Norfolk council and a two-unitary solution with a 'Greater Norwich' council and one for the rest of Norfolk.  Final recommendations will be made to the Secretary of State on 15 July.

The previous three proposals have been dropped, all of which would have moved Lowestoft under Norfolk rule, meaning the 'wedge' proposal of a combined Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft council and one for the remainder of Norfolk is no longer on the table. 

Full details of the new proposals can be seen on the Boundary Committee's website page for the Norfolk review.  The Committee are asking for your views on the proposals, including which proposal you prefer, how one or both could be made better and how you feel community empowerment arrangements could work for your area. The consultation closes on May 14.

It is clear that the Committee is no longer favouring one proposal over another, giving the single county and "doughnut" unitary options equal weight in the new consultation.  Max Caller, Chair of the Boundary Committee, said "We are not at this stage expressing a preference for one pattern over another but, on the basis of the evidence received so far, we think both sets of proposals may have the capacity to meet all five criteria that the Secretary of State has given us and deliver the very best for local people".   

Whatever the final outcome of the local government review, our position as a branch is to protect jobs and services.  We have been in discussions with the council and other Norfolk Unison branches throughout the process so far and our involvement will continue.

We would like to hear your views on the review of local government structures - e-mail us at unison@norwich.gov.uk.