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County and municipality structure/reform

2251 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  KiwiRob
Was not completely sure where to put this. Was either here or on Icebar.

What's your opinions on the current county and municipality structure?
Sadly any debate on this topic has been cancelled as long as Senterpartiet is a part of the government.

I'm not holding a conclusion, but I would really like to see the debate.

There's many questions to this topic.
But lets start with the current situation.

19 counties
Biggest in population: Oslo 592 082 inhabitans
Smallest in population: Finnmark 73 007 inhabitans
Average population: 257 261 inhabitans
Biggest in area: Finnmark 48 617,03 km2
Smallest in area: Oslo 454,08 km2
Average area: 17 041,43 km2

430 municipalities
Biggest in population: Oslo 592 082 inhabitans
Smallest in population: Utsira 218 inhabitans
Average population: 11 388 inhabitans
Biggest in area: Kautokeino 9 707,35 km2
Smallest in area: Kvitsøy 6,17 km2
Average area: 752,99 km2

Back to the questions.
The major question is of course the counties.
Should the county level be abolished or should it be kept?
If kept, how many should there be?
How should those be designed?
Should new regions be based on the current county borders, or is it okey to split current counties in two different regions?

Should municipalities be forced to merge?
How many municipalities should we have?
If the counties are adolished, would your answer be different?
Should the new municipalities be disegned by a set of rules regarding population and area, or should you look at each one individually?
If a set of rules, how should they look?
Is it okey to split up current municipalities to create new ones?

Probably alot more questions that could be asked. But I'll start with these.
So what's your opinions?
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This topic is very interesting, but I feel it is misplaced in this forum. I would put this in the Aftenposten Debattforum under Norsk politikk.
There should probably be some minimum level of population for each county, in my opinion. Since Norway is small population-wise, I'd say somewhere around 5000 inhabitants as a minimum.

But as a general rule. We could allow a few exceptions in sparsely populated areas. But counties like Utsira, that is a bit ridiculous.
Should municipalities be forced to merge?

Vestfold is a good example, 14 municipalities distributed on 2200 km2.
None of the smaller municipalities want to be merged with the bigger ones. Its been a debate, if Tønsberg, Nøtterøy and Tjøme should be one mMunicipality, but Nøtterøy and Tjøme are off cource strongly against it. Ideally it should be 5 or 6.

Interesting article about the topic here

"- Erfaringer med kommunereformen i Danmark viser at man ikke sparer penger på kommunesammenslåinger, snarere har mer byråkrati ført til økte utgifter. Den eneste måten man kan spare penger i Kommune-Norge, er å kutte i tjenestene, sier han."
Yes, around where I live there are 5 kommunes, four of them have less than 4000 people, it would make a lot of sense to centralise. I've often thought it daft that organisations like NAV have offices in all five kommunes when at most they are 30-45 minutes drive from each other, a complete waste of public money.
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