Thursday, 21 June 2012

Greater Nottingham page added

To the right you will see that I have added a 'Greater Nottingham' page which I will use to post information about the conurbation.

The only good thing about the Nottingham mayoral referendum was that it sparked a debate about the future of local government in the 'greater' Nottingham conurbation and it will be a pity if this discussion become just a distant memory and nothing comes from it.  For my part, I am biding my time.

I want to refer a submission I made to the House of Commons Community and Local Government Committee about the role of councillors in the local community, but this will have to wait until it is published by the Committee. I also want to see the latest Census data for 2011 and what the Parliamentary Boundary Commissioners propose for the Greater Nottingham area.

At the end of the day, an official examination of how the conurbation is governed  (a 'Principal area boundary review'  – its technical name) can only be triggered by all the councils involved, so I think it unlikely that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will be visiting Nottingham for a good while yet — which is why we need some kind of independent local governance commission to collect the evidence and then publish a report about possible options for the future. I am convinced the evidence for change is overwhelming and only blocked by local politicians fearful of losing power.

As my table on the voting at the 2011 local elections show, Labour has little to fear from an enlarged city area, but fortunes can change and at some point in the future the Conservatives may well become the dominant force in the conurbation. My own ideas for the future place greater emphasis on the role of councillors in their own wards and creating a kind of 'two tiers in one' arrangement to counter what might otherwise be reasonable local objections.

I have posted two maps to the page: one showing existing town and parish councils; the other places with 15 minute or better public transport links with Nottingham city centre.

I have updated the information I have posted about council tax charges in the Greater Nottingham conurbation and have included links to tables showing parish / town council tax charges as well for Broxtowe and Gedling. Ruddington is the only area in the table with a parish council. The level of council tax across the conurbation for Property band 'A' ranges from £1053 (Gedling basic rate) to £1097 (Ruddington including parish council tax charge) — a very small margin of difference by any measure.

I hope the page is of interest.

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