Reorganising local councils in the middle of a pandemic is ‘ludicrous’, MP tells minister

January 13, 2021 5:18 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

This afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim told the Government not to go ahead with plans to reorganise local councils in Cumbria in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking during an Urgent Question in the House of Commons about this year's local elections, Tim said: "I am personally very keen to have elections in May and even keener that the Government make the decision now and stick to it. Clarity is important to stop the uncertainty that leads to instability within local authorities up and down the country.

"What adds to that instability, in three parts of England - Somerset, Cumbria and North Yorkshire - is a ludicrous plan for a top-down reorganisation of local government in the midst of a pandemic.

"Does the minister agree that it is far wiser for those authorities to focus on delivering social care, education, housing and economic development, rather than labouring under a pointless, badly-timed, top-down reorganisation?"

Responding, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said she would raise Tim's point with her colleagues in the Department for Local Government.