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UKIP's bid to investigate scrapping district and borough councils in Hampshire defeated
USUALLY they are busy campaigning to scrap the EU.
Now UKIP have turned their attention to abolishing Hampshire's councils.
The eurosceptic party's newly elected Fareham county councillor Christopher Wood put forward a motion today calling for an investigation into whether scrapping the county's 11 borough and district councils - including New Forest, Test Valley, Eastleigh, Winchester, Fareham and Gosport councils - could be the answer to the county's money woes.
Speaking at a full county council meeting, he argued having one council would be less confusing for the public and save millions by unifying the councils under one roof.
A case in point, Cllr Wood said was neighbouring Wiltshire which in 2009 dispensed of its small councils to become one unitary council.
The county saved a total of £68million in just four years, he said, absorbing the £18million transitional costs in just two and a half years.
He said: "I think we can make Hampshire leaner, meaner and more efficient. I also believe having just one service provider will benefit our residents.
"All too often residents just don't know which council provides which service and trying to find out isn't always easy.”
But councillors from across the political divide rallied to defeat the motion.
Cllr Roy Perry, leader of the Tory led county council, dismissed UKIP's bid for the inquiry as a waste of officers' time and public money - especially when money was so tight.
He called unitary authorities undemocratic, comparing it to the government of North Korea.
He said: "They (UKIP) want to abolish the ability of local councils to deal with their own affairs."
Southampton and Portsmouth are already unitary authorities.