A consultation is underway on the future of local government in the Hampshire county area. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the proposals that have been put forward for consideration are a real dog’s dinner, with huge and strangely named districts. It’s clear from just how bad the options are that the prime motivation for any change is not improving democracy (Ha!) but saving money. Of course saving money is a good idea, but quite a lot of money can be saved by introducing a sensible system of unitary authorities – it’s quite insulting to treat people as unworthy of LOCAL government.
Here’s my proposals for unitary authorities:
1. Southampton 245,000
2. Portsmouth 210,000
3. New Forest 177,000
4. Fareham & Gosport 195,000
5. Havant & East Hants 240,000
6. Winchester & Eastleigh & Test Valley 370,000
7. Basingstoke & Hart & Rushmoor 360,000
If preferred, districts 6 and 7 could be divided in two.
Thinking outside the box, why not give consideration to a combined Christchurch & New Forest authority?