Plans by Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils for shared services does not mean we would have a Super Council with the same Council Tax and provision of services in the three boroughs. There would still distinction – different priorities, variety, experiment. But it would mean three slimmer councils with shared costs of delivering the three different service specifications.
While the trade unions and opposition Labour councillors have been attacking the plans. We have Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, the Labour opposition leader in Westminster, completely following the union line. He says the plan is "ideologically driven" and the "biggest attack on local services ever contemplated." On the contrary in seeking to find savings of £100 million without hitting the front line it is the biggest defence of local services ever contemplated. Where would Cllr Dimoldenberg find £100 million?
At the same time we have also had Labour councils looking at similar plans.
The Streatham Guardian reports:
Road repairs, adult social care, rubbish collection, libraries, CCTV, lawyers and adult education could all be pooled among three councils to save cash.
Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark councils are looking at council service areas, among others, as areas that could be shared, in a bid to absorb the effect of funding cuts from central Government.
The merging of services is likely to mean thousands of job cuts across the three councils.