Exmouth to have largest community run by county hall

EXMOUTH is set to become the largest urban sprawl run by Britain s third largest county following news that Exeter will secede from county council control.

EXMOUTH is set to become the largest urban sprawl run by Britain's third largest county following news that Exeter will secede from county council control.

The announcement on Wednesday came out of the blue - most believed the only options on the table were either a Devon-wide 'super' council or an Exeter and Exmouth joint authority.

Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton said that Exeter would run its own services as a unitary council from 2011.

She said: "Exeter is at the centre of regional economic activity and its economic performance is crucial for its residents and the wider area.


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"That's why today we're putting Exeter's local leaders who know their areas best in charge of delivering all local services and at the heart of delivering economic growth."

But leader of the district council, Cllr Sara Randall Johnson, said she did not want a unitary Exeter to profit at the expense of East Devon: "I want an assurance from the Government...it will not be the precursor to a crude land grab in which the boundaries of Exeter are moved so that the city can expand into East Devon.

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"We already know that East Devon has the space that a growing Exeter will need if its economy is to thrive.

"We are happy to be a good neighbour and to collaborate with the city on an equal basis, but we would be very protective of our borders..."

County council leader John Hart warned: "Tearing Devon apart and splitting up vital services like social care and schools which the county council now provides effectively, efficiently and economically is simply madness.

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