Right Tier, Right Now
The future of two tier local government is one of most vexed questions facing the sector as a whole. It is quite clear that the current division of labour between counties and districts is unsustainable for some parts of the country as both tiers struggle to cope with unprecedented budget cuts. Some districts will cease to be viable in their current form, while growing demand from an ageing population could turn some counties into little more than single-purpose health and social care authorities.
This is a complex and highly charged debate in which solutions must emerge from localities. The essays gathered here are not intended to provide easy answers, but to explore how counties and districts are approaching the problem in practice. They are intended to clarify the options and to move the discussion forward. Over the coming months, NLGN and PwC will be undertaking further research and setting out recommendations for shires and central government.
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