Time and again, governments had said unitary authorities – like Rochdale, Bury or Blackburn with Darwen – are more efficient, easier to run and a lighter burden on the tax payer.
“We are the biggest council in the area, we have the biggest clout, we will be the biggest player.”
The solution is to deal with Lancashire’s bigger problem, and that’s the vastly expensive way local government is conducted around here.
In theory, it means all of Lancashire’s authorities – all 15 borough councils plus the county council – putting on a united front to government to argue the Red Rose county should enjoy the same sort of devolved powers that Greater Manchester is getting, along with additional funding to boot.
Only, the combined authority idea isn’t the same as a directly-elected mayor at all, not least in that this authority wouldn’t be directly-elected at all – just our existing councils, in theory, working more closely together.
Maybe that should be a Christmas wish: To put a Christmas tree front and centre of our efforts next year.