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Residents in the North West have one week left to give views on Local Government Review

17th February 2004

Residents in the North West have one week left to give views on Local Government Review

17th February 2004

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

16 February 2004

There is just one week left for people in the North West to submit views on how they would like their local government to be restructured.

At the request of the Government, on 17 June 2003 The Boundary Committee for England began a major review of local government structure.  The three regions they have been looking at in great depth are the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. Provided with guidance by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Committee must recommend at least two options for a single tier of local government in areas where there are currently both district and county councils.

A referendum will be held in all three regions to decide whether the public want an elected regional assembly. People living in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire will also be able to vote for their preferred option for unitary local government. These options will only be implemented in the event of a yes vote for elected regional assemblies. 

The review is divided into 4 stages, which includes 2 twelve-week public consultation periods.  The deadline of 23 February 2004 for the second consultation is swiftly approaching, after which the Committee will spend the final weeks of the review considering all submissions received. To date, nearly 4,000 submissions have been received about local government structure in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. More are arriving on a daily basis. The Committee must submit their final recommendations to the Deputy Prime Minister, no later than 25 May 2004. 

The Committee must ensure that its recommendations, amongst other key criteria, reflect local communities and community interests.

Since the start of the review, The Boundary Committee has been attending regular meetings in the North West with representatives of all 27 authorities which may be affected by the review, as well as other stakeholders and interested parties. They welcome the cooperation they have received, with many councils working together to put proposals to the Committee. The Committee has also attended two briefings to MPs at the House of Commons. MPs representing all parties have had an opportunity to air their views on the patterns of unitary local government in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire.

Boundary Committee Director, Archie Gall said, We are now approaching the final stage of the review. We have seen well-constructed arguments from local government, stakeholders and the public, which will enable us to make informed decisions for changes to local authority structure in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. We look forward to receiving further submissions before the 23 February deadline.

The Committee is required to identify at least two options for unitary authorities in each area and recommend them to the Government.  These must provide the basis for high performing unitary local government in the two-tier areas of the North West, combining effective service delivery across all local authority services with responsiveness to local communities.

Submissions from local people, councils and other organisations can be made by writing to: The Local Government Review Team (Cheshire/Cumbria/Lancashire), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW, or by logging on to www.boundarycommittee.org.uk. Proposals during this final stage of consultation must reach the Committee by 23 February.

 

/ends

 

For further information contact:

Charmaine Colvin on 020 7271 0700 or Elise Cross on 020 7271 0530  

Out of Office hours 07887 626 774

ccolvin@boundarycommittee.org.uk

www.boundarycommittee.org.uk

Notes to editors:

 

  1. The Boundary Committee is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.
  2. The Regional Assemblies (Preparation) 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.
  3. The Boundary Committee is required to submit its recommendations to the Deputy Prime Minister by 25 May 2004. In the event of a no vote in a referendum on an elected regional assembly, the Government has said no local government restructuring will take place in that region.
  4. The options which The Boundary Committee are consulting on in the Cheshire area are:

·         Option One: Cheshire County Council: This would cover the whole of the existing county council area, with a population of 673,800.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £10.5 million per year (currently £30 million per year).

Note: The costs of being in business are those incurred by a local authority regardless of

the level of services required or delivered. They are only a small proportion of the total costs.

 

·         Option Two:

A. East Cheshire authority: This would combine Congleton, Macclesfield, eastern parts of Crewe & Nantwich and part of Vale Royal districts, with a population of 318,800.

B. West Cheshire authority: This would combine Chester City, Ellesmere Port & Neston, western parts of Vale Royal and Crewe & Nantwich districts, with a population of 355,000.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £14.7 million per year (currently £30 million per year).

·         Option Three:

A. East Cheshire authority: This would combine Congleton and Macclesfield districts, with a population of 240,800.

B. Mid Cheshire authority: This would combine Vale Royal and Crewe & Nantwich districts, with a population of 233,000.

C. Chester & West Cheshire authority: This would combine Ellesmere Port & Neston and Chester City districts, with a population of 199,900.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £16.8 million per year (currently £30 million per year).

  1. The options which The Boundary Committee are consulting on in the Cumbria area are:

·         Option One: Cumbria County Council: This would cover the whole of the existing county council area, with a population of 487,600.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £9.1 million per year (currently £17.6 million per year).

Note: The costs of being in business are those incurred by a local authority regardless of the level of services required or delivered. They are only a small proportion of the total costs.

 

·         Option Two:

A. North Cumbria: This would combine Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden districts, with a population of 313,300.

B. South Cumbria & Lancaster: This would combine Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland districts and Lancaster city from Lancashire, with a population of 308,200.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £13.9 million per year (currently £17.6 million per year). Lancaster (in Lancashire) has not been included in the current costs for Cumbria.

 

  1. The options which The Boundary Committee are consulting on in the Lancashire area are:

·         Option One:

A. Lancashire County Council: This would cover the majority of the existing county council area, with a population of approximately 1,051,400.

B. Rochdale Borough Council: This would be expanded to include Whitworth Parish in Rossendale borough, with a population of approximately 212,600.

C. Blackpool Borough Council: This would be expanded to include the Fleetwood and Thornton-Cleveleys areas of Wyre district, with a population of approximately 218,500.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £12.9 million per year (currently £38.7 million per year).

Note: The costs of being in business are those incurred by a local authority regardless of

the level of services required or delivered. They are only a small proportion of the total costs.

·         Option Two:

A. Central Lancashire: This would combine Preston, South Ribble and Chorley districts and parts of Fylde and Wyre districts, with a population of approximately 384,400.

B. East Lancashire: This would combine Blackburn with Darwen borough with Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley districts and most of Rossendale district, with a population of approximately 510,100.

C. Fylde Coast: This would combine Blackpool borough with parts of Fylde and Wyre districts, with a population of approximately 270,600.

D. South Cumbria & Lancaster: This would combine Lancaster city with Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland districts from Cumbria, with a population of 308,200.

E. Sefton & West Lancashire: This would combine Sefton borough with part of West Lancashire district, with a population of approximately 338,900.

F. Wigan: This would be expanded to include part of West Lancashire district, with a population of approximately 353,900.

G. Rochdale: This would be expanded to include Whitworth Parish in Rossendale borough, with a population of approximately 212,600.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £23.1 million per year (currently £38.7 million per year). Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland (in Cumbria) have not been included in the current costs for Lancashire.

·         Option Three:

A. Central Lancashire: This would combine Preston, South Ribble and Chorley districts and parts of Fylde and Wyre districts, with a population of approximately 384,400.

B. Blackburn & Ribble: This would combine Blackburn with Darwen borough with Hyndburn and Ribble Valley districts, with a population of 272,900.

C. South East Lancashire: This would combine Burnley and Pendle districts and most of Rossendale district, with a population of approximately 237,200.

D. Fylde Coast: This would combine Blackpool borough with parts of Fylde and Wyre districts, with a population of approximately 270,600.

E. South Cumbria & Lancaster: This would combine Lancaster city with Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland districts from Cumbria, with a population of 308,200.

F. Sefton & West Lancashire: This would combine Sefton borough with part of West Lancashire district, with a population of approximately 338,900.

G. Wigan: This would be expanded to include most of West Lancashire district, with a population of approximately 353,900.

H. Rochdale: This would be expanded to include most of Rossendale borough, with a population of approximately 212,600.

Estimated Costs of Being In Business: Are predicted to be around £25.9 million per year (currently £38.7 million per year). Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakeland (in Cumbria) have not been included in the current costs for Lancashire.