Single council is common sense

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

Like many East Devon residents I found the recent anti-Devon comments by council leader Sara Randall-Johnson rather bizarre. Devon County Council provides 85per cent of local services. Like all county councils it borrows money to do so. Whether or not Dev

Like many East Devon residents I found the recent anti-Devon comments by council leader Sara Randall-Johnson rather bizarre.Devon County Council provides 85per cent of local services. Like all county councils it borrows money to do so. Whether or not Devon becomes the unitary authority it will still have debt in which every resident will share.In fact, Councillor Sara Randall Johnson originally wanted East Devon to merge with Exeter and become a unitary authority - thus picking up the whole Exeter schools PFI debt into the bargain!Below Devon sit the eight districts, which include East Devon and provide the remaining 15 per cent of services, and the parish and town councils which provide the local knowledge and spend small sums.Most of us with common sense or business experience, qualities which I think Conservative supporters also rate highly, can see this is not an efficient way to run things. The source of savings is clear - if the eight districts were abolished there would be a net reduction of hundreds of district council councillors and chiefs, and an end to duplication and confusion over who does what.The towns and parishes, which like the historic county of Devon people tend to feel some loyalty to, would then have an enhanced role to get things done at the most local level.Jon UnderwoodParliamentary spokesman Tiverton and Honiton Liberal DemocratsMillmeadAxmouth


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