Letter: Unitary councils: power to central government, loss of the citizen's role and a fight for jobs

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The Independent Online
Sir: It seems to an impartial observer quite clear that the argument between the district and county councils has little to do with provision of services and much to do with job security. Until local government reorganisation was first mooted, the districts and counties worked admirably together to provide the best possible services for their communities. Between them, they have done an excellent job in maintaining standards, despite cuts in funding and interference from Whitehall. Confusion of roles has never been a real issue.

What is really depressing is that we now see the districts and counties bickering among themselves about who is 'best' and spending large amounts of time and public money on promoting themselves and denigrating their opposite numbers, because, quite justifiably, they fear that whoever loses this battle will also lose their jobs.

It is time for all the district and county councils to stand up to the Government and say that reorganisation is neither necessary nor desirable. The savings envisaged are nothing compared to the costs that will be incurred.

The Government's aim is not to democratise local government but to destroy it, as it has tried to do to all its other potential opponents. Meanwhile it can sit back, watch the districts and counties slugging it out, and reflect on the truth of the maxim 'divide and rule'.

Yours faithfully,

DIANA THOMAS

Wootton,

Oxfordshire

26 April

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