The County Council believes that any new local government structure should be simpler, cheaper and stronger. It favours a unitary structure and has identified two options:
A single unitary council for Leicestershire
- This is estimated to save £30m a year
Two unitary councils for Leicestershire
- This is estimated to save £18m a year
in both cases to replace the County Council and the seven district councils.
An initial assessment of the options has been undertaken. The majority of savings come from a reduction in the numbers of senior managers, administrators and 'back office' or support services required to run one or two councils rather than eight.
The initial assessment has been on both financial and non-financial grounds. The latter include improvements to services and the removal of confusion as to the responsibilities of councils, making it easier for everyone to do business and for an elected council to represent Leicestershire most effectively. More information is available in the Cabinet report.
The initial assessment points to the relative benefits of a unitary structure being greater in Option 1. At this stage, a single unitary council for Leicestershire is suggested as best placed to meet the present and future challenges facing local government.