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Merge Essex councils to cut costs, says leader
11:30am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Echo News
A SUPER council in south east Essex could be the only way to survive swingeing public spending cuts.
With all three councils being forced to make severe savings in the wake of the Government’s continuing austerity measures, Mr Holdcroft questioned whether the current system could be maintained.
He said: “I think that a debate on the future structure of local government in south east Essex is inevitable, as I am not convinced that the current arrangements are financially sustainable in the mid-term unless the current financial situation significantly improves.
“I am willing to press on with the debate without precondition.”
Southend Council has been responsible for all duties within its borough since 1998, when it became a unitary authority.
In contrast, Rochford District and Castle Point form a two-tier system with Essex County Council – the latter taking control of areas such as schools, roads and social services.
Mr Holdcroft has previously suggested merging the three authorities to form a single unitary body with complete power over the south-east corner of Essex.
Doing so would allow the councils to merge backroom staff, such as human resources, payroll and senior management, to cut costs.