The District Councils of Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet have been holding informal talks for some time about the possibility of forming a Unitary Authority for East Kent.

They have now made an announcement confirming those discussions at www.dover.gov.uk/News/Press-Releases/2016/East-Kent-Councils-Consider-Closer-Working.aspx.

The current structure is that Kent County Council has responsibility for many services across the whole of the County and the District Councils (e.g. Dover District Council) have responsibility for other services in their areas. If a Unitary Authority came about, those responsibilities would be merged into one authority covering all of East Kent.

Town and Parish Councils would not be directly affected by this change but we would hope that some responsibilities would be devolved to them if other decisions move further away.

The Deal Society have concerns about the effect of a larger authority on local democracy and raised those concerns with Dover District Council at our Meeting with Dover District Council on the 30th March. We will continue to monitor developments to ensure that we have a strong voice locally.