Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 05:14
Merging the provinces of North Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland can yield annual savings of up to 70 million euros. This is stated in the draft proposal for the reclassification, that Minister Ronald Plasterk of Interior Affairs has published on Monday. According to the minister the merger offers opportunities to work effectively and efficiently. Originally, the plan was to finalize the merger in 2015, but in April Plasterk decided to give the three provinces one year extra time. In the new province will live about 4.3 million people. There can be responded to the draft till October 16, then comes a real bill. The government wants to include the Noordoostpolder in the merger, but if the people are very strongly against it, there is room for discussion. According to the minister. "I'm fairly open about this." Plasterk has no ideas yet to what the capital will be of the super province. That’s up to the new province to decide. Plasterk believes in the mega province, despite some criticism from without the supposed province. The government wants "less administrative hassle 'and Plasterk questioned on Monday how big the added value is of a county council in Flevoland, that counts only six municipalities. The area with the lakes for instance, has a very complex structure with the current county borders, while the character of the area is better off with an integrated approach in the field of environment. Another advantage is that Amsterdam and Almere belong more or less together, because many Almeerders work in Amsterdam. The date of the reclassification was already postponed from March 26, 2015 to January 1, 2016. The States Elections of May 2015 will therefore be for the three provinces that currently exist. Then there will be later on reclassification elections, but the Senate remains then as it is. Mega County chooses its own name In the explanatory memorandum to the draft bill is stated that the new mega province must choose its own name. For the time being the new province is called ‘Noordvleugel’. Its up to the of Flevoland, North Holland and Utrecht to come up with a name but the minister advises them to consult also the Commission for the Naming of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.