“More opinions on the dangers of local government reorganization”

Your correspondent Patrick Tracey in the same issue, March 25, takes the opposite view.

He is mistaken when he says that we are going from three councilors per district to one. We’re actually going from four to one. The three municipal councilors per district are removed.

He believes there will be financial savings for taxpayers. It is extremely doubtful.

With the financial problems the government finds itself in, it is much more likely that the rate support grant issued each February will be lowered to reflect lower council costs. Austerity continues with council and government spending cuts across the country.

He is right to say that workers will lose their jobs. Abolition of Cumbria County and Carlisle City Council is expected to cost £18million and I have been told that in three years it should recoup those costs.

This means that every year £6m will be withdrawn from the local economy. With only 18 councilors representing Carlisle and with 46 in the new Cumberland authority, it is clear that Carlisle will become poorer with less money being spent and with power and influence shifting to the west coast.

On important issues, Carlisle may well be outvoted.

If there was to be a change, we should have reverted to the pre-1974 position when Carlisle was an integrated authority responsible for its own education and social services, as happens in Nottingham.

What is unique in Cumbria is that only in Carlisle will there be no town council without a mayor or chairman. Town councils and parish councils were not abolished in the rest of the county.

After 800 years with a royal charter, our town hall and council will come to an end. Advisors from both major parties tell me that we could keep this or even that we should, but not that we will.

Our own Conservative MP has been very quiet on the issue. Just like Minister Robert Jenrick.

Steven Bowditch
Mayor of Carlisle 2014/2015
Stanwix, Carlisle

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“The government has bigger fish to fry”

The flaw in Steven Bowditch’s argument (CN Mar 25) is his idea that the government should give Carlisle a town council. Nobody in government will – they have way bigger fish to fry (or parties to attend). Carlisle must apply, as must Penrith, Whitehaven and now Barrow.

Jeremy Godwin
Drovers Lane, Penrith

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