County against single council

A YEAR is a long time in politics; county chiefs for the first time have officially come out against proposals to replace Devon s nine council s with a single super council.

A YEAR is a long time in politics; county chiefs for the first time have officially come out against proposals to replace Devon's nine council's with a single 'super council.'

Devon County Council's cabinet have backed a joint letter to Secretary of State John Denham in a last ditch effort to stop the proposals.

It's a significant move - previously, when leader of the opposition, Tory council-leader John Hart had backed then leader Brian Greenslade in supporting the plans.

But this week he described the plans as 'utter madness', a view now shared by Cllr Greenslade.


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Cllr Hart said: "This has gone on long enough and should be killed off now.

"Whatever people's opinions may have been in the past, the financial climate today is now very different and with Devon facing so many other pressures this uncertainty must stop.

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"It has been proved again and again that an Exeter unitary would not be a viable financially and this option has already been dismissed by independent experts and the Boundary Committee. Such a move would also be potentially disastrous for key countywide services such as the care of the elderly and damage our ability to deal with strategic issues and emergencies such as the current situation on Devon's roads.

"...this is not about where lines are drawn on a map; it is simply not the time for such an expensive distraction."

The Liberal Democrat's have also had a change of heart: "...this is simply the wrong time," said Cllr Vanessa Newcombe

The Secretary of State is expected to make his decision this week.

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