The EDP reports this morning that a senior source in Whitehall says that the Greater Norwich bid is now a done deal. Nothing we, or the public, can say will stop this now. Apparently everything from Taverham in the North to Long Stratton in the South is about to come under City Hall control. A few points, randomly and in no particular order, spring to mind:
This is the most undemocratic and political move ever by a British government towards a faction of local government, outstripping even the 1974 reorganisaion. I think a lot of people who oppose this move will punish Labour at the polls.
If they do that the irony is, as suggested by the EDP, that the Tories could just form a majority administration in the City. I'm sure that will thrill Morph, Read, Ramsay, Cooke and all the other unitary cheerleaders who did this to get away from Conservative control!
It will mean massive ward boundary changes. I think wards ought to get smaller and that we should have 2 member divisions with bi-annual elections, but anything could now happen.
Broadland and South Norfolk become untennable as districts. What do they do now?
And one final thought - do the Leaders of Norfolk, South Norfolk and Broadland now accept the fait accompi and work towards getting a good deal in the breakup of the councils or do they die in a ditch for their residents and risk letting Labour set the post-unitary agenda? I personally don't think that the residents would accept anything short of death-in-action over this. We must oppose this to the bitter end - and then win the unitary poll.