Statement on Local Government Reform from David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council
Representation to Ministry, Housing, Communities and Local Government by NALC
NALC is in dialogue with the ministry regarding the role of parish, community and town councils that will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper, as mentioned below. With the announcement of a proposal for a unitary authority in Hertfordshire it is vital that we make our views known so that representations can be made during the drafting stage. Please let us have your thoughts and comments.
Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Councillor David Williams, statement to Hertfordshire Forward on which HAPTC represents you as a member parish, town or community council:
On Tuesday 21 July 2020, I made a statement at the County Council meeting on potential local government reforms – a copy of which is attached for your information.
The Government has made clear that the forthcoming Devolution White Paper, which we expect to be published in the Autumn, will set out the Government's intention to strengthen local institutions, including establishing more unitary councils.
It is clear to me that structural reform could result in substantial benefits for Hertfordshire that would deliver the government's stated ambitions to reduce the cost and complexity of local governance, provide more modern and responsive services for the taxpayer and reinvigorate local communities.
Without considering the opportunities for greater local devolution and associated local government reforms, there are clear risks affecting our ability to respond at pace to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the developing recession and its impact on jobs and livelihoods as well as the need for sustainable growth, housing and opportunities for our residents.
We remain committed to exploring the best way to organise ourselves to continue to meet the needs of our residents and provide the most effective support for the county's economic recovery.
We all need to provide clear, collective leadership to Hertfordshire as a place and engage closely with a broad range of partners. We are just at the start of those considerations and look forward to working with you, with other partners and with all councils in Hertfordshire to determine our best way forward.
I have made available on our website the initial work that we have conducted to assess the potential benefits and other considerations relevant to an assessment of any potential reform. This work shows there are compelling financial and other benefits that may be achievable. It can be accessed at https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/news-archive/structural-reform-could-result-in-substantial-benefits-for-hertfordshire
I will be in touch shortly as we continue to discuss these opportunities and seek to form a consensus as to the best way forward.
Leader of the Council
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DE, Postal Point: CHO238
Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 10:14 by Sue Campbell