Thursday, 23 March 2017

Shepway vote causes East Kent super council rethink

Last night’s anticipated vote on the bringing together of the councils of Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet to create one super council for East Kent, appears to have fallen at the first major vote – halting plans for public consultation on the proposals.

Councillors at Shepway voted 19 to 8 not to go ahead; Thanet voted by a large majority to go ahead and Dover narrowly voted to go-ahead at 22 to 18.

Not surprisingly Canterbury Council deferred its vote in an attempt to probably get all the leaders into one room and understand what had happened.

The votes followed the publication of The Business Case. Developed by Local Partnerships, this identified ways the proposed super council could achieve substantial savings, make greater efficiencies and realise opportunities for strengthening the East Kent economy if it went ahead, according to a statement by pro-Thanet Council.

The case considered projected savings and future scenarios on the basis of a four-way collaboration, and so could only progress to the next stage of public consultation if each council voted to proceed.

Only recently Ashford Borough Council decided not to continue the discussions for a single east Kent authority, preferring to stay separate and work alongside other councils including Kent County Council.

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