Norwich Bishop speaks in Lords on council plan
2010: The Bishop of Norwich
has spoken out over the controversial proposals to turn Norwich
into a new unitary council during a debate in the House of Lords
yesterday (March 22) when the plan was approved and moved a step closer.
Peers approved the proposal by 64 votes to make Norwich and Exeter unitary authorities with the power to take over the running of schools, roads and social services from the county councils.
During the debate the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (right), said he favoured a city unitary on an extended boundary, but was critical of the approach adopted by the independent Boundary Committee when it became involved with the so-called local government review.
“The reason we are in the situation we are in today is largely due to the serious misjudgements of that body,” Bishop Graham said. “The situation of the last three years has done very little to build trust in our political process. That's the problem, whatever the outcome. The people of Norfolk and Norwich deserve better than this.”
He told the Lords: "The process has been so mishandled; you'd have thought the Boundary Committee and the government wanted to ensure as much dissention as possible and to build tension between the city and the county."
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