DEREK’S FIVE MINUTES
Mr Mayor Members.
I thought it might be useful if I spoke to you with my suggestions for the future of South Ribble Council on this the first full Council of 2008
I am speaking not as a Liberal Democrat but as a former member with eight years experience and a keen interest in the future of local government in general and our local government in particular.
Lets face it , although we do remarkably well ; we are just too small. It’s no secret we have great difficulty recruiting and holding staff as we cannot offer the prospects of large unitaries. Illness and loss of key personnel can drastically reduce our performance as we have seen recently in regeneration.
Two tier councils produce confusion for the electorate as I am sure new members are just discovering especially in highways.
The writing has been on the wall for a long time . Just like
That is where we found ourselves in the last administration.Lancashire County Council or a City of
We (and I think that was cross all parties) had no enthusiasm for
It was not a question of merging with Preston as Mrs Fulbrook claimed but more of producing a new more effective alternative to the giant unchanging Lancashire Unitary and, being in it at its formation, we were confident we could mould it in our image.
What of the future?
There are two processes going on. On the one hand there is Lancashire with its Lancashire Locals ; its now functioning call centre and its enhanced two tier working .On the other the present policy of merging of services with Chorley.
Sharing services raises all sorts of difficulties over control and accountability and priorities. It is no more than a short term expedient.
My preference is to work towards the Central Lancashire City Unitary.
We then have the opportunity to set up an authority from scratch to our own design and free from the habits and customs of the 19th century
This is what
That is the grand scale but let’s not forget the micro scale. Whatever unitary proposal we adopt, it is likely to be too remote from the voter . Our ancestors, for reasons best known to them selves left out
We now have the opportunity to rapidly reinstate it regardless of County or even
We would also be responding to public pressure for a restoration of local institutions such as Leyland Festival which would be first priority for the new