Council reflects on past ten years

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Today marks the tenth anniversary of Cornwall becoming a unitary authority.

Cornwall Council came into existence on April 1, 2009, as the former county council, five district councils and one borough council were merged to create a single authority.

Since then, faced with ever decreasing funding from Government during the austerity years, the Council says it has managed to save £300 million, “using innovative approaches” to minimise the impact on public services, including the transfer of assets to local communities.

The authority says it can now look forward to a positive future, creating self-sustaining finances to ensure frontline services and our most vulnerable citizens continue to be protected.

The leadership team at the Council has been looking back at the past decade, while looking forward to what the next ten years may bring.

Councillor Adam Paynter, leader of the council, said: “I was on the former Cornwall County Council, while my mum was on the district council, and it was so complex, you were never quite sure who was responsible for what.

“Whenever a constituent would phone our house with a problem, we would need to quiz them on the exact nature of the issue to find out who was responsible.

“Now as a single authority that confusion has gone, and we are able to work with partners to ensure we offer the most efficient service possible to our residents.

“It has been a learning curve, but I am so pleased to be able to look back and honestly say things have improved so much thanks to the creation of Cornwall Council, and that we can face the future with confidence.”

Chief executive, Kate Kennally, added: “The fact we were shortlisted for Council of the Year at the recent LGC Awards shows just how much progress we have made in a relatively short space of time.

“There have of course been tough times, we were not helped by the start of austerity coinciding with the creating of the Council and have had to battle with ever-reducing funding since we started.

“However, there is no doubt that through the savings we have been able to make through the efficiency being a single authority brings, we have coped far better than many other councils across the country, and in a way that the seven authorities could never have done.

“We are now in the process of building a strong and sustainable economy for Cornwall, ensuring we are responsible with our finances while protecting frontline services and our most vulnerable residents.

“Cornwall Council can look back at its first ten years with great pride and can look forward to the future with great confidence.”