Norwich City Council has been advised by the government not to commit to any additional spending on a new unitary authority after it pledged to revoke the orders creating it.
The government has also confirmed the scrapping of the proposed unitary council will not prompt by-elections in the 13 wards where the local elections were postponed earlier this month. The councillors involved will continue in office until May 2011 when the authority will return to its usual pattern of elections for one third of the council each year.
An implementation executive set up to oversee the transition to the new council was told last night (Wednesday 26 May) that local government minister Bob Neill had written to the city council confirming the government’s intention to introduce legislation to stop the creation of the new council by the summer. He advised the council not to take any further steps or incur expenditure on the plans in the meantime.
Paul Spencer, director of transformation, said the council had been placed in a difficult position because under the parliamentary orders, the council had a legal duty to introduce the new council and the implementation executive (IE) and implementation plan had to remain in place.
However, the government was clearly determined to revoke those orders and as the council also had an obligation to local tax payers, no additional money would be spent on the plans.
The IE, which consists of 12 city councillors and six county councillors representing city wards, will discuss its future on Wednesday 9 June.