Top-Down Council Re-organisation Plans

3 May 2022

After two failed attempts at creating a Unitary Authority for Nottinghamshire, the County Council promised to work more closely with the nine Borough and District Councils. Better local services were promised by devolving and combining responsibilities.

Now, in a complete "U"turn, the County Council along with Nottingham, Derby and Derbyshire Councils have submitted a confidential and restricted bid to create a vast East Midlands Combined Authority. It follows the Governments own devolution plans publishes in February. This offered more local powers for Healthcare, transport, Education and Planning. However to get those powers a new combined authority would have to be created along with a directly elected Mayor. Borough and District Councils would no longer have any powers but could expect to be consulted.

Significant powers such as Planning and Development would be transferred from Newark and Sherwood to the new mega Authority with the Mayor given ultimate control. Despite promising that more local voices would be heard in Devolution, the Government now wants a centralised top-down solution. With a Mayor, the plans would add another layer to local Government requiring an extra payment to the Council Tax.

Local Election Results May 2023

A spectacular set of elections both nationally and locally here in Newark and Sherwood!

Overall Lib Dem gains were 405 nationally, which posed a problem for Sky News, whose swingometer apparently was not able to contemplate a set of gains of this magnitude. We exceeded 'Exceeded Expectations'!

Our local gains at the district level saw the addition of our third District Councillor with the victory of Keith Melton in Trent Ward. We also kept 2 of 3 councillors for Southwell, now Karen Roberts and Peter Harris. We were encouraged to see the increase in our share of votes in other seats where we were able to field candidtes. Congratulations to everyone.

We had a very good performance in Southwell Town Council, gaining 10 of the 14 seats for which there were candidates, with 6 of these won in elections and 4 being uncontested. Two Conservatives, one Labour candidate and one Independent were also successful. One place on the council remains to be appointed to.

The Conservatives had a terrible set of district and parish elections, losing about half of their district councillors and many PCs. The final DC result was Conservative 14, Labour 11, Independents 11 (8 for Independents for Newark and 3 for other Independents) and Lib Dems 3. Discussions will take place for some time on the composition of the new administration, which is unlikely to include Conservatives for the first time since 2007.

On behalf of the executive, we are extremely grateful to everyone who stood as candidates, as well as everyone who performed the various roles which were necessary for the campaigns. We are a small party and many of you worked very hard.

We are very grateful for their past work to councillors who have stood down at this election, including Peter Scorer and Stuart Thompstone. Malcolm Brock has stood down from the District, though continues to serve on Southwell TC.

We welcome new members to the party, who were motivated by this campaign. This phenomenon was particularly marked in Trent Ward. Upton support has to be singled out, evidenced for anyone who drove through, by the huge number of LD stakeboards and posters.

Philip Barron

Chair, Newark Liberal Democrats

7 May 2023

Collingham Focus April 2023
Southwell East Ward Focus April 2023
Southwell North Ward Focus April 2023
Trent Focus April 2023