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Boundary Committee announces final recommendations for unitary local govt in the 3 northern regions

25th May 2004

Boundary Committee announces final recommendations for unitary local govt in the 3 northern regions

25th May 2004

This is an archived news release and links may no longer work.

 

Final proposals for unitary patterns of local government in the two-tier areas of the North East, North West and Yorkshire & the Humber regions are being submitted to the Deputy Prime Minister today. The recommendations from The Boundary Committee for England mark the end of an independent review which began in June 2003. The Committee has set out two options for patterns of unitary authorities in each of the six counties under review.

Cheshire

Option A        

A single unitary authority comprising the whole of the Cheshire county area:

The districts of Chester City, Congleton, Crewe & Nantwich, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Macclesfield and Vale Royal would be abolished and their functions transferred to Cheshire County Council, which would be renamed Cheshire Council.

Option B

Three unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

Cheshire County Council and the districts of Chester City, Congleton, Crewe & Nantwich, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Macclesfield and Vale Royal would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to three new unitary districts, to be named East Cheshire (comprising Congleton and Macclesfield), Mid Cheshire (comprising Crewe & Nantwich and Vale Royal) and Chester and West Cheshire (comprising Chester City and Ellesmere Port & Neston).

County Durham

Option A        

A single unitary authority comprising the whole of the County Durham area:

The districts of Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Durham City, Easington, Sedgefield, Teesdale and Wear Valley would be abolished and their functions transferred to Durham County Council, which would be renamed County Durham Council.

Option B

Three unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

Durham County Council and the districts of Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Durham City, Easington, Sedgefield, Teesdale and Wear Valley would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to three new unitary districts to be named East Durham (comprising Durham City and Easington), North Durham (comprising Chester-le-Street and Derwentside) and South Durham (comprising Sedgefield, Teesdale and Wear Valley).

Cumbria

Option A        

A single unitary authority comprising the whole of the Cumbria county area:

The districts of Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle City, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland would all be abolished and their functions transferred to Cumbria County Council, which would be renamed Cumbria Council.

Option B

Two unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

Cumbria County Council and the districts of Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle City, Copeland, Eden, South Lakeland and Lancaster City (from Lancashire) would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to two new unitary districts, to be named North Cumbria (comprising Allerdale, Carlisle City, Copeland and Eden) and Morecambe Bay (comprising Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland, and Lancaster City from Lancashire).

Lancashire

Option A        

A single unitary authority based on the majority of the Lancashire county area:

The districts of Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster City, Pendle, Preston City, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre would all be abolished and their functions transferred to Lancashire County Council, which would be renamed Lancashire Council.

Blackpool would be expanded to include the Fleetwood and Thornton-Cleveleys area of Wyre, and be renamed Blackpool with Fleetwood Borough Council.

Option B

Three unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

Lancashire County Council and the districts of Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster City, Pendle, Preston City, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre, and Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland (from Cumbria) would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to three new unitary districts, to be named Central Lancashire (comprising Chorley, Preston City and South Ribble), East Lancashire (comprising Burnley, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale) and Morecambe Bay (comprising Lancaster City and Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland from Cumbria).

Blackpool would be expanded to include the areas of Fylde and Wyre, and be renamed Blackpool and the Fylde Borough Council.

Blackburn with Darwen would be expanded to include the area of Hyndburn, and be renamed Blackburn with Hyndburn Borough Council.

Sefton would be expanded to include the western part of West Lancashire, and be renamed Sefton & West Lancashire Metropolitan Borough Council.

Wigan would be expanded to include the eastern part of West Lancashire.

Northumberland

Option A        

A single unitary authority comprising the whole of the Northumberland county area:

The districts of Alnwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth Valley, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale and Wansbeck would all be abolished and their functions transferred to Northumberland County Council, which would be renamed Northumberland Council.

Option B

Two unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

Northumberland County Council and the districts of Alnwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth Valley, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale and Wansbeck would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to two new unitary districts, to be named Rural Northumberland (comprising Alnwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Castle Morpeth, and Tynedale districts) and South East Northumberland (comprising Blyth Valley and Wansbeck).

North Yorkshire

Option A        

A single unitary authority comprising the whole of the North Yorkshire county area:

The districts of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby would all be abolished and their functions transferred to North Yorkshire County Council, which would be renamed North Yorkshire Council.

Option B

Three unitary authorities based on combinations of existing districts:

North Yorkshire County Council and the districts of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby would all be abolished. Their functions would be transferred to three new unitary districts, to be named Craven and Harrogate (comprising Craven and Harrogate), Hambleton and Richmondshire (comprising Hambleton and Richmondshire) and Ryedale and Scarborough (comprising Ryedale and Scarborough).

East Riding of Yorkshire would be expanded to include Selby District Council.

The year-long exercise in the North East, North West and Yorkshire & the Humber regions saw the Committee reviewing those areas where there are currently two tiers of local government, both district and county councils. The Committee was directed to propose at least two options for patterns of local government based on a single tier of councils, known as unitary authorities. Retaining current structures was not an option. At a later date, all people living in the three northern regions will be asked to decide in a referendum if they want an elected regional assembly. Those living in the two-tier areas will be asked to make a further decision on which option for unitary local government they would prefer if a regional assembly is established.

The review included two rounds of public consultation, each lasting twelve weeks, during which time local authorities, stakeholders and interested parties were invited to submit their proposals for patterns of local government. Over 9,000 submissions were received from all six counties being reviewed. The Committee also commissioned MORI to undertake public opinion research on its draft proposals for the counties. The research findings were published on 14 April 2004.

In considering options for unitary authorities, the Committee was guided by the Local Government Act 1992 and Guidance issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Key considerations included local authority capacity, geography, community leadership, representation and the ability for any new unitary authorities to become high performing, delivering quality services to local residents.

The Boundary Committee Chair, Pamela Gordon said, We have given full consideration to all the proposals and representations we have received. In the light of all the evidence put to us, we are satisfied that we are putting forward viable options for patterns of unitary local government in the three northern regions.

Our principal objective has been to ensure our options offer realistic prospects of meeting the needs of people living in all the communities concerned through the creation of strong, sustainable and potentially high-performing unitary authorities.

Subject to the Deputy Prime Ministers decision on our final recommendations, electors in the two-tier areas which have been reviewed will be able to vote on their preferred pattern for unitary local government in a referendum later in the year.  

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is now responsible for deciding the outcome of the Committees recommendations and all further correspondence should be addressed to Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Zone 5/B1, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU. The Government will not take final decisions on the local government options for a period of six weeks from today (until 6 July 2004).

ends

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Boundary Committees local government reviews began on 17 June 2003 and are now completed. A referendum will be held at a later date. In the event of a no vote in a referendum on an elected regional assembly, the Government has said there will be no local government restructuring.
  1. The Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003, paving the way for referendums on elected regional assemblies, was introduced to Parliament in November 2002 and received Royal Assent in May 2003.
  1. Reports with map images can be downloaded from The Boundary Committee website: www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or can be seen at local council offices and public libraries in the counties. Copies of individual reports can be obtained by writing to: The Press Office, The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
  1. The Boundary Committee is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.

Issued on behalf of The Boundary Committee by Weber Shandwick North. For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Drake

Weber Shandwick North
2 Jordan Street
Knott Mill
Manchester
M15 4PY

jdrake@webershandwick.com
Tel: 0161 238 9416
Fax: 0161 228 3076

Boundary Committee press office
Senior Press Officer, Charmaine Colvin:
Tel:  020 7271 0700/07887 626 774
e-mail: ccolvin@boundarycommittee.org.uk
Assistant Press Officer, Elise Cross:
Tel: 020 7271 0530