Plans Show How Powerful Mayor Could Oversee The Whole Of Essex

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A powerful directly chosen mayor could oversee the entirety of Essex as part of a new concept outlined by county council chiefs, and in the latest stage of the dispute over the fate of decision making in Essex (England), all districts and the county council could be axed and replaced with up to four unitary authorities.

The proposal was outlined in an email viewed by the Echo newspaper and sent to Southend party leaders by the borough’s chief executive Alison Griffin, and it explains Essex County Council leader David Finch, along with the council’s chief executive Gavin Jones, wants to explore the creation of a Greater Essex Mayoral Combined Authority which would operate above the newly established councils.

It would be managed by an elected mayor who could have oversight of budgets, county-wide development schemes, the police and fire services and planning, although the mayor’s authorities would need to be settled through discussions with the central government.

The email goes onto note the county council will not be endeavouring to become its own unitary authority, leaving it unclear whether it would join one of the larger authorities, but the plan, which is in its very early stages, has already been endorsed by Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government.

The response is a stark difference to Simon Clarke’s apathetic acknowledgement to a separate and significantly more modest plan from council leaders in the south of the county who have proposed the formulation of a South Essex Combined Authority.

And Southend council leader Ian Gilbert has emphasised that the south Essex plan remains the priority.

Independent deputy council leader, Ron Woodley, speculated that the county council plan could mean Southend Council uniting with Rochford and Castle Point and Thurrock joining with Basildon and Brentwood.

The other two authorities he said could be created by merging councils in the northeast and the north-west.

Mr Woodley continued that it appeared as if they want a combined authority over the top of the unitaries but why? You don’t need a combined authority above them.

There is no way they should have that sort of control or power, and watch out for the backstabbing, secretive meetings and truckloads of pie in the sky proposals from the usual Councillors wanting to be in the running for the mayoral position.

Well, this is wonderful, another tier of bureaucracy that everyone will have to pay for!

Published by Angela Lloyd

My vision on life is pretty broad, therefore I like to address specific subjects that intrigue me. Therefore I really appreciate the world of politics, though I have no actual views on who I will vote for, that I will not tell you, so please do not ask! I am like an observation station when it comes to writing, and I simply take the news and make it my own. I have no expectations, I simply love to write, and I know this seems really odd, but I don't get paid for it, I really like what I do and since I am never under any pressure, I constantly find that I write much better, rather than being blanketed under masses of paperwork and articles that I am on a deadline to complete. The chances are, that whilst all other journalists are out there, ripping their hair out, attempting to get their articles completed, I'm simply rambling along at my convenience creating my perfect piece. I guess it must look pretty unpleasant to some of you that I work for nothing, perhaps even brutal. Perhaps I have an obvious disregard for authority, I have no idea, but I would sooner be working for myself, than under somebody else, excuse the pun! Small I maybe, but substantial I will become, eventually. My desk is the most chaotic mess, though surprisingly I know where everything is, and I think that I would be quite unsuited for a desk job. My views on matters vary and I am extremely open-minded to the stuff that I write about, but what I write about is the truth and getting it out there, because the people must be acquainted. Though I am quite entertained by what goes on in the world. My spotlight is mostly to do with politics, though I do write other material as well, but it's essentially politics that I am involved in, and I tend to concentrate my attention on that, however, information is essential. If you have information the possibilities are endless because you are only limited by your own imagination...

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