RESIDENTS have been reassured their services will remain in Elles- mere Port and Neston after local government reorganisation.
The borough council made the pledge after the Government approved its merger with counterparts in Chester and Vale Royal to form a new “super-council”, known as a unitary authority, for West Cheshire.
A similar all-in-one council will be created in East Cheshire, and the county council will be scrapped in the biggest shake-up in local government for decades.
With claimed savings of £30m a year, the new West Cheshire authority, which will handle all services from bin collections to education and highways, is expected to pay back its set-up costs in just two years.
In addition, £6m will be ring-fenced to improve services for children and young people, neighbourhoods, adult care payments and community transport.
And one-stop shops, where residents can access council services and personnel, will be in all town centres.
A borough council spokeswoman said: “We don’t yet know what will happen to our present buildings but local offices will remain here.
“We don’t want people to get concerned they’ll have to go to Chester for the council. We will still be here, although there will be some slimming down.”
As for the present borough council staff, she said some were expected to leave through natural wastage and non-replacement while others would be transferred to the new authority.
“Ellesmere Port council has no history of compulsory redundancies. We have a year to prepare for this,” she added.
There will be potentially 72 councillors on the new authority – 18 of them representing Ellesmere Port and Neston – who will be elected in the coming years.
Borough leader Justin Madders (Lab, Ledsham) said: “I reassure people who are concerned their services will be affected by the transition from two-tier to single-tier local government that this will not be the case.
“People in Ellesmere Port and Neston will continue to receive the same high standard services and there will be an ongoing commitment to projects the council has promised to deliver on.
“We aim to make the new council big enough to have regional significance – to attract funding and investment – yet local enough to add real value to people’s lives.
“Throughout the coming months I will endeavour to ensure that residents are kept informed and there will be a seamless transition to the new authority.”
The new authority will be the fourth largest unitary council in the North West, which will give it a powerful strategic voice on regional and national affairs.