Council leaders' react to unitary choice
Baroness Hollis, former leader of Norwich City Council: “This is really good news for the city, as it means that we will now shift into the Championship league, able to compete effectively with other unitary cities, such as Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Peterborough, and Milton Keynes, for the new jobs, new development and new investment we need.
Baroness Hollis, former leader of Norwich City Council: “This is really good news for the city, as it means that we will now shift into the Championship league, able to compete effectively with other unitary cities, such as Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Peterborough, and Milton Keynes, for the new jobs, new development and new investment we need. If Norwich thrives, so will Norfolk - and a unitary Norwich is the only way to ensure that both Norwich and Norfolk forge ahead, with both Norwich's urban and Norfolk's rural priorities equally respected.
Breckland leader William Nunn said: “I think it is a bizarre decision which creates a pig in a poke and was only wanted by politicians in Norwich. I think it demonstrates a real ignorance of the vital economic relationship between the city and the rest of the county. By creating this imbalance, you will tear the heart out of the county as well as creating needless upheaval in local service provision. The Keep Norfolk Local Coalition will now work with the county council in challenging the politically motivated reorganisation which to many will look like shameless gerrymandering. It is the worst of all options for the people of Norfolk.”
Simon Woodbridge, leader of Broadland District Council: “It's absolutely nuts. The cost is going to be horrendous. It's public money that could be better spent elsewhere. The risk of service failures by creating two authorities for adults and children's services, doesn't bear thinking about.”
Sheila Childerhouse, chairman of NHS Norfolk said: “We are disappointed to hear the news that there is not to be a single unitary authority, particularly given the context nationally and locally of public sector finances. With the potential reconfiguration of key services to vulnerable people, this is of some considerable concern to us.”
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“However, we understand the City's aspirations and we will work with our partners in any new structure to ensure that our patients continue to receive excellent health services and outstanding care.
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council: “Amazingly the minister concedes the plan is unaffordable yet decides to carry on anyway. It's paying-off Labour's political debts with taxpayers' money. It's the biggest gerrymander since rotten boroughs were abolished in 1832.
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Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, and a former Norwich city councillor: “This is an outrageous and extraordinary decision. It is extraordinary that the secretary of state has ignored the detailed findings of the boundary commission and decided to press on regardless. This decision fails to acknowledge the impact that this would have on local government in the rest of the county."
Tony Wright, Yarmouth MP: “We can live with this. It's probably the best thing for Yarmouth. It would have been the worst possible scenario if we had had a whole Norfolk unitary. I'm disappointed that we couldn't have had a Yarmouth and Waveney unitary council.
Nick Daubney, leader of King's Lynn and West Norfolk borough council: “I think we have been vindicated in our robust stance against the Boundary Committee. I am not anti-unitary and I think if the Boundary Committee had engaged properly with local people about what the solution could be, I think there might have been a way forward.
Barry Coleman, leader of Great Yarmouth borough council: “As far as the whole of Norfolk is concerned it's unsatisfactory. As far as Great Yarmouth is concerned it isn't ideal because we have a strong relationship with the county and the stronger the county is the better it is for us, but having said that we can live with that.”
Virginia Gay, leader of North Norfolk Council: “After all these years and all the money that this has cost and all the time and trouble, we have a decision that he government could have made two or three years ago. We do not know how local services in North Norfolk might be affected if this break-up goes through.”