The Boundary Committee for England has published a summary of the potential costs of its proposals for changing from two-tier to unitary local government in Norfolk. Detailed financial information was first published in November 2008 (and further revised in January and March 2009) and is available on the Committee's website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk
County unitary authority
The best estimate of the cost of changing from a system of two-tier local government to a county unitary authority is £42.1m.
It is estimated thatthis cost may be covered from savings of £71.5m, and that it will take about 3 years to recover this cost.
Two unitary authorities Greater Norwich and Rural Norfolk
The best estimate of the cost of changing from a system of two-tier local government to two unitary authorities is £64.7m.
It is estimated that this cost may be covered from savings of £83.7m. However, the Greater Norwich unitary authority would need to share some savings with the Rural Norfolk unitary authority for both authorities to be able to cover their costs. It is estimated that it will take about 4 years to recover this cost.
It will not be necessary to increase the average council tax in Norfolk as a result of the change to unitary local government. The actual levels of council tax will be decided by the new authorities.
Archie Gall, Director of the Boundary Committee, said: "Councils in the county provided us with the figures we needed to come up with this information, and our independent financial consultants carried out an analysis of those numbers.
"The Secretary of State will make a decision whether or not to implement patterns of unitary local government here. If she chooses to do that, it will be up to any new body to organise its own finances. That includes decisions about what your council tax might be. We've published today a synopsis of the detailed analysis carried out by our independent financial consultants. Were keen to hear what people in the county think of the potential affordability of our further draft proposals, as well as views on other aspects of the proposals."
Responses to our further draft proposals can be made by filling in an online form at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or writing to:
The Boundary Committee for England
Great Peter Street
London SW1P 2HW
The period for responses closes on 14 May 2009. The Committee will then consider the responses before providing any advice to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by 15 July 2009.
For further information contact:
Gareth Nicholson on 020 7271 0638 or 020 271 0704
outside office hours: 07789 920414www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/eastern/norfolk/norfolk-structural-review