25th Nov, 2020

Split Warwickshire County Council into two authorities, says councillor

Ross Crawford 26th Oct, 2020 Updated: 26th Oct, 2020

CALLS to disband Warwickshire County Council and split it into two separate authorities have won the backing of Studley’s own county councillor Clive Rickhards.

Plans mooted by the government would see the end of two tier local government – county councils and district or borough councils – and their replacement by a single tier.

Thinktanks believe such a move could save the Exchequer £1billion and the proposal is likely to be part of a new local government White Paper.

And it will have implications for Redditch, which sits in Worcestershire, with many in the town feeling it gets a raw deal from County Hall in Worcester.

In Warwickshire the county council has already made it clear it should be that single authority, sparking a reaction from its districts and boroughs.

They would prefer to split the authority in two, a north and a south, with Stratford District, which covers Studley and Alcester, joining with Warwick to form the south section.

Coun Rickhards (Lib Dem) said: “As a group we have taken the view that on balance it’s better to have a one tier authority covering Stratford and Warwick, but it’s clear that the ruling Conservative group on the county favour one authority covering the whole of the county.

“As a Lib Dem the idea of a unitary authority on a combination of districts does have advantages and provides a greater degree of localism.

“We also feel that a single authority for all of Warwickshire would fall down because the county is too diverse.”

One factor for Studley and Alcester is the impact the move would have on their parish and town councils.

“For people in favour of one tier for all the county that strengthens the role of these lower tiers because it’s important that they work well,” he said.

However he said he felt smaller unitaries offered better representation for local people.

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