Super Councils

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Lib Dem Local Party Chairman shares his views on Super Councils and plans being made by our District Council

To: Echo Letters
Your recent article about Super-councils really highlighted, to coin a phrase, the ‘white elephant in the room’ for Rochford District Council.  With amazing timing, in the middle of a pandemic,  Conservative-run Rochford District Council has voted to splash out on plush new offices close to Rochford Station. In the process, they will close facilities in the biggest town in the district (Rayleigh) and probably decimate ancient Rochford town centre which relies on the Council to keep it alive. They don’t seem to have been listening to their Tory party colleagues in Westminster who want to do away with smaller District Councils and create so-called ‘Super-councils’ serving over a half a million people – which government say is necessary to be viable. What then for the plush new out of town Council offices? What then for Rayleigh and Rochford town centres with yet more closed down Council facilities? We need to halt the process of the District Council gambling on the future with risky developments, instead, they should concentrate on providing services and facilities for local people and businesses trying to weather the coming economic recession.

Yours faithfully

Steve Tellis

  • The ‘Super Council’ thing now appears to be moving, it featured on BBC Look East, heavily qualified of course “no real details available”. What it did confirm was the potential divi-up of South Essex namely ….. Thurrock/Brentwood/Basildon and Southend/Rochford/ Castle Point. I have mixed views on this, on the one hand it might strengthen the clout on Government for the missing Infrastructure ; on the other hand both of Rochford’s potential partners lack any land supply to meet NPPF housing targets – which might then get off-loaded into Rochford District. Either way it makes a mockery of making major moves ( new offices etc; ) before details of a Super Council are known let alone defined ( for example the one Council only needs one base – that would be the efficiency they are seeking ).

    To be honest, just like my lack of confidence in Westminster ( 2nd rate Ministers ), I don’t have confidence in Local Government either. Their resources / funding has been run down for decades now – they do not have the necessary skills for major projects. For example where have the ASELA Group of Councils gone since launch 2 years ago -remember their mantra ” Infrastructure First “……….. silence since?.