On Tuesday, Watford Councillors from all parties unanimously agreed a motion rejecting a single unitary authority for Hertfordshire. The motion stressed the inappropriate timing of the County Council’s proposal and the need to maintain focus on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic not on local government reorganisation.
The motion comes shortly after the publication of Survation polling results which showed that 80% of residents in Hertfordshire are opposed to a single unitary authority, believing the proposal from Hertfordshire County Council was wrongly timed.
The results in Watford showed 83% of respondents prefer how things are currently with having a more local council and 74% don't think now is the right time to make changes to local government. 77% think borough councils like Watford are best at delivering services such as refuse collection and housing, with 80% thinking their voice may not be heard in the event of a single county-wide unitary authority.
Peter Taylor, Elected Mayor of Watford, commented “I am glad the motion was agreed by all at Full Council. It is important that as councillors we remain accountable to our electorate. The overwhelming view of local residents is that they are opposed to a single unitary authority for the whole of Hertfordshire. This is a bad idea at a bad time.
“I will continue to focus all of my efforts on the huge health and economic challenges we face in Watford. We should not be wasting time on this unpopular plan which would give residents less power to shape the town’s future. These plans must now be dropped so we can get on with serving our residents.”
Full text of the agreed motion available here.
Results of Survation polling available here.