The Future of St Neots


Poll

Which choice is best for St. Neots? Check out the options page first

Join South Cambs DC
Dissolve District Councils
Become Unitary Authority
Stay with HDC
 


Current Results



















Would we be better off without a District Council?

If you believe that we would be better off without HDC, now is the time to say so.  The government is looking for ways to cut public spending and getting rid of District Councils altogether may be a very good way of doing it.

There has always been rivalry between St. Neots and Huntingdon and there are many emotive issues but we need to look at both sides of the coin and come to a reasoned decision over where we want to be.

Nothing is going to happen overnight but if we don't start somewhere we'll only have ourselves to blame when we have a much larger population, yet still few facilities, in ten years time!

Possible Long Term Options

  1. We press for St. Neots to become part of South Cambs District Council.
     
    1. Pro:  Whereas HDC covers four major towns, South Cambs has none. We would be its major priority and should, therefore, be in a better position than we are now.
    2. Con:  We don't know what we would be getting or whether the council could cope.  South Cambs would probably feel the need to take on further, highly paid, directors (see chart) commensurate with its enhanced position.
       
  2. We press for all four district councils to be dissolved and the functions taken over by Cambridgeshire County Council and seriously upgraded Town Councils.
     

    1. Pro:  This would give far greater control to the towns, over local issues and, if handled properly, have the added benefit of reducing costs substantially. The need for the, highly paid, District Council directorships (again see chart) would disappear and money could, conceivably, be made from the sale of property.
    2. Con:  The downside is redundancies but there would still be a need for the 'lower ranks', as much of the actual 'work' of the district councils would continue to exist. 
      It's a very long-term solution, that would doubtless mean a change to the whole local government system, throughout the UK.  (Could be effective, all the same!)
       
  3. St Neots becomes a unitary authority - suggested by Councillor Steve Van de Kerkhove.
     
    1. Pro:  St Neots would pretty much totally control it's own destiny.
    2. Con: All services, currently undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council and HDC would devolve to the new authority.  Is St. Neots big enough to consider this?
       
  4. We stick with HDC
     
    1. Pro:  We know what to expect.
      They have done some good things for the town, e.g. improvements to the Market Square.
    2. Con:  HDC seems to think that Huntingdonshire still exists as a county and that Huntingdon is the 'county town'.  They certainly appear to promote Huntingdon over St. Neots.  Admittedly, we are not in the best position, at the edge of both the district and of Cambridgeshire but we are the largest town in the county (after the city of Cambridge). 
      HDC has four major towns within its area (St Neots, Huntingdon, St. Ives and Ramsey).  It appears to be too many for a district council to handle effectively.

       (I want to be fair to HDC, but they've shot themselves in the foot - see their comments about Huntingdon and St Neots under Facts and Figures, point 1.  Also, the more information I come across, the more I realise that our town is treated with little respect by our district council).

 

One to three are drastic measures but now is the time to think about them, particularly point 2, while Central Government is looking to save money.  We may not get such a good chance for change again!

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