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Important update for employees 11 September 2020

11 September 2020

It is certainly the case that change is a constant in local government. You may have read that the government is expected to release plans for council reorganisation in the coming weeks and, as you would expect, significant work has been taking place in Derbyshire for some time to prepare.

We are wholly focused on achieving the best possible results for Derbyshire's people, communities and businesses. It is vital that Derbyshire and the wider East Midlands region does not miss the opportunity to get our fair share of funding and is at the front of the queue for much-needed investment. Staying as we are, in traditional structures, is not an option.

We have been working closely with our district and borough council partners on a new way of working together called Vision Derbyshire. We want this to continue and it is our preferred route to getting a deal with government. We do, however, need to prepare for every eventuality.

If the Vision Derbyshire approach does not meet the government's requirements, or all of the councils involved cannot agree to the changes that must happen in terms of governance, then the county council will have to explore the possibility of creating a unitary council to keep the historic county of Derbyshire together. Alongside this, we also intend to be part of a bid to establish an East Midlands Combined Authority to support recovery, resilience and prosperity in the region.

Special Cabinet and Full Council papers to this effect are available on the Derbyshire Democracy website. Clearly there is a long way to go before any change takes place and we won't know our direction until after the government has released more information over the coming weeks. We are committed to keeping all colleagues fully up to date as discussions progress. I have no doubt that the picture will change over the coming months but we will ensure that you are kept up to date at every step and this should not distract from your work, and our key mission, to ensure that local people can live life to the full in thriving communities supported by enterprising councils.

If we do not act decisively now we will likely miss the once in a generation opportunities before us and may have no say in what happens to our county and how it is governed. We, as local authorities in Derbyshire, need to be masters of our own future for the good of the residents and communities we work alongside. I will keep you informed as we move forward.

Emma Alexander, Executive Director for Commissioning, Communities and Policy