Change would not be immediate. If the Government were to invite proposals, the process could take several years from start to finish. But the County Council believes there is a time pressure arising from the increasing financial pressures on the Council's budget and that district council budgets will also be under pressure.

By the end of March 2019 the County Council will have saved £200 million since 2010. The latest forecast shows that the County Council can balance its budget for the next two years but only by taking more tough decisions. The scope for further savings is running out as demand for social care services in particular continues to grow. So the Council believes that other options to protect front-line services and to invest in them have to be considered.

The process

The Government can invite proposals for change in local government structures. With a view to this possibility, the County Council has identified two different unitary options – a one-council and a two-council option.

This website contains some information about these options and we would like to know if you have any comments about what we say. If we decide to take any option forward, this will be at a later stage, and we will engage in a consultation process before doing so.