The reorganisation of local government should be ruled out for the next parliament in favour of more joint working, says a think tank.
The report, published by NLGN in association with PwC, calls on all political parties to rule out unitary status, arguing reorganisation can be long-winded and expensive. Instead it says county and district councils should be encouraged to form combined authorities.
As Tiers Go By: A collaborative future for counties and districts sets out future models of collaboration, including a ‘virtual unitary’ model in which councils work together to pool their commissioning functions.
NLGN director and report author, Simon Parker, said: ‘Two tier local government can be cumbersome and inefficient, but this is not the right moment for a costly and disruptive process of change. Collaboration can provide a powerful alternative which is proven to deliver better outcomes and cost savings.
‘If ministers want two tier areas to work together, they need to firmly rule out the alternatives and introduce new policy to support joint working.’