Commenting today on proposals by the County Council Conservative Leader to create a Warwickshire unitary authority, Mike O’Brien said,
“I would oppose transferring power to Warwick. It’s too remote and out of touch with people in the north of the county.
“I don’t have a problem with the theory of a unitary authority. But it would need to be closer to people in Bedworth and North Warwickshire. A unitary council based in the north of the county might be worth considering. But none of this is going to happen. They won’t agree and the government have made it clear that nothing happens unless all the councils agree. So it’s a dead duck now.
“This thing is an expensive, pointless consultation. It seems like the new Leader of the Conservative group on the county council has come up with a wheeze and is spending money exploring it.
“The truth is that this is a political power grab, because the county Tories think that a county wide authority would be under permanent Conservative control. It would enable them to gerrymander power from Labour councillors in the north without an election, by abolishing the council.
“When Thatcher disliked Ken Livingstone’s London County Council she abolished it. Izzy Secombe wants to do the same to North Warwickshire Council! But I have news for Izzy Secombe – she is no Margaret Thatcher. “