The new council will empower local communities and make services easier to access.
The new council will be committed to keeping services local and going even further. With more locally based staff,more local access points for you to get council services and a bigger say in how they are delivered in your community.
Simpler and easier services
The new council will be simpler and easier for you to access. There will be one council with one point of contact, one website and one phone number for all the support and services you need.
A main office in each district will provide access to locally based staff with the expertise to help with you to resolve any issues or questions you may have.
These will be supplemented by around 30 new local access points around the county so everyone has the choice to have direct, face-to-face contact about services.
There will be just one set of councillors who will be accountable for all services, so everyone will know who represented them and who they could contact.
There will be new powers and money for local people across communities, market towns and parishes to drive local change, local enterprise and local solutions.
Local priorities will be decided by around 25 community networks, initially based around market town areas but how many and where they cover will be decided in consultation with local communities.
These networks will see communities work with business and public sector agencies to have a louder voice and get things done in their local area.
Made up of community and business groups, town and parish councils and representatives from other local groups and public services, including local councillors, community networks will act as local agents for economic and social change.
What they do and who is part of them will evolve and change over time to help make sure they continue to meet local needs and priorities.
Every network will be supported by a Local Area Coordinator. The Coordinator will support local people to work with public service providers to develop their own action plans and to set their own priorities for delivery and social action. These could include, for example, a cultural programme for the town, engagement activities for young people, activities to bring people together locally and to reduce isolation or improvements to the look and feel of the high streets.
Each Community Network would be assigned one of the most senior managers from within the new council. This will make sure there are strong connections back into the council and with partners and ensure senior managers understand local issues.
The new council will support and promote community-led schemes such as community transport and community housing as an important part of local service delivery.
Area Committees will have a role in championing Community Network action plans and holding the council and its partners to account for the delivery of local priorities.
Area constituency committees
There will be greater transparency with powerful new area constituency committees. They will oversee their local areas, championing their cause, strengthening relationships with their MPs and making important decisions locally on vital matters such as planning and licensing, holding the new council to account.
Services from parish and town councils
Greater powers and funding will be passed to parish and town councils, for those that would welcome them, and the new council will support them to take control of local services and facilities.
Parish and town councils, and parish meetings, come in all shapes and sizes and operate in different ways. The new council will work with them all, recognise their value and help with development when needed. Crucially it will empower them to do more if they want to do so.
The new council will work with any town and parish council that wants to do more, for example, to deliver or commission services; providing they are able to demonstrate value for money and the ability to deliver. If these conditions are met then the new council will be open to funding the arrangements. The council would work with a first wave of forerunner town and parish councils to develop the concept. Other town and parish councils could then follow. Representatives from parish and town councils have worked with us to identify the types of service that could potentially be devolved from the new council if your local parish or town council would like to take them on.