Monday, August 28, 2006

(Yet) Another blow for Norwich City's Unitary Bid

Following the vote on Broadland District Council against the Norwich Unitary Bid, which saw all of the opposition LibDem Councillors support the Tory administration's stance, the Evening News online poll (which is currently at the bottom here) has come out 2 to 1 against the plans.

63% of voters were against the idea compared to 29% in favour - and all this time the Council continues to spend thousands upon thousands of tax payers cash on this ill-fated scheme. Labour and the LibDems had better be prepared to justify this when the dust dies down. With all of the expensive MORI polls and glossy documents flying around this bid certainly isn't cheap.

Once the County Council and then South Norfolk District Council come out against the plans (as they, I'm told, will certainly) Norwich will look increasingly isolated.

Bids are only accepted if there is general support from stakeholders. Labour and the LibDems can't even agree amongst themselves county wide on this and with the county, partner districts, public opinion and the Conservatives against this idea what chance does it have?

Let's stop this now and save the money - I know a whacking great finanical black hole that needs filling...


Anonymous said...

Antony, I began thinking "Unitary power, thats a great idea, Norwich CC and electorate can control directly education, transport and waste management". Yippee!

Then comes the detail and one reads on a little more to know Norwich will have to bulk up its sphere of influence/size from 120,000 to 250,000 too justify Unitary status. If Norwich was quarter of a million already, there might be Unitary case, but Norwich is not! Its not going to happen is it. The stakeholders will not allow enlargement / bulk up to happen and like Congestion Charges (toll collected) for the small city scale of Norwich, it will waste more money than problems it solves. I hope Steve Morphew sees the EEN poll, acts on his instincts and puts this into cold storage.

Antony said...

Absolutely, but Morph is politically behind this one - but to what cost to the tax payer? I am quite pro-unitary but I wouldn't trust Norwich with education or social services. I certainly wouldn't trust them with a bigger budget. And there will be a cold day in Hell before South Norfolk and Broadland give up their land - mainly because Broadland may not be sustainable without their City areas.

This is a fools mission.