Government urged to scrap district and borough councils in Leicestershire

A letter has been sent to government officials asking them to consider a ‘unitary council’ for Leicestershire.

The move would see a wholesale change in the way local councils in Leicestershire are run and could save over £30 million pounds of taxpayer money.

Leicestershire council leader, Nick Rushton believes the county will benefit hugely if the current local authorities were governed by one council. 

This would mean abolishing all the county’s district and borough councils and replacing them with one council.

Nick Rushton has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging for change.

In the letter, Councillor Rushton says: “The time is right to examine the structure of local government in Leicestershire.”

“Making unitary local government a condition of meaningful devolution is a natural and necessary step forward to enable us to provide better, simpler, and more cost-effective local government.”

He added: “The current system is dated and doesn’t allow us or other councils to provide the best value for money for our ratepayers. It’s time for change.”

However, district and borough council leaders have always opposed the idea.

They have responded by saying the focus right now should be on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and supporting communities and local businesses in these difficult times.

They added that if the government did initiate a consultation about the future of local government, they would take part in the discussions fully to ensure the interests of residents and businesses were protected.