Unitary – a new Norwich council, a new Norwich Unison branch

Norwich City Council is under a statutory duty to implement a unitary council for Norwich starting on 1 April 2011, having received  parliamentary approval for the plans,

Regardless of the announcement, the Norwich City Unison branch’s aim remains the same – to protect jobs and services. We have been through a lot of change recently, and this will mean more. We understand any worry or concern that members may be feeling but can reassure you that the branch is engaged in the process and will offer support as needed throughout.

What does this mean for the council?

Broadly, this means that a new Norwich unitary council will be responsible for all local government services in the area including including existing services such as economic development, highways, housing, recycling, waste collection as well as new services such as adult services, libraries, children’s services, schools and trading standards. A full list of FAQs are available on the council intranet, under ‘Corporate – Unitary Status – FAQs’. 

The main considerations for our members will be the new staffing structure, and the transfer of staff to the new authority under TUPE regulations. The branch will be involved at the very start and will work hard with the council to enable as smooth a transition as possible.

What does this mean for the branch?

The transition provides an opportunity to strengthen the Norwich City branch, with the change in council structures meaning the branch will be bigger due to the transfer of many UNISON members from Norfolk County Council. Other unions such as Unite, GMB, and NUT will also be present at the authority.

What happens next?

A lot of work will be needed to make the necessary changes to both the council and the Unison branch, and the specific detail is yet to be determined. We will keep you informed of developments and opportunities to get involved as they occur.