Focus on the future shape of county
PUBLISHED: 01:01 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:53 10 June 2010
WORK on deciding the future shape of local government in Devon has started, following a visit by staff from the Boundary Committee. The committee was appointed by the Government to look at whether the current two-tier system of district and county council
WORK on deciding the future shape of local government in Devon has started, following a visit by staff from the Boundary Committee.The committee was appointed by the Government to look at whether the current two-tier system of district and county councils is still viable.One part of its investigations will be to decide if a single council covering the whole county would be worthwhile.The investigation follows Exeter City Council's failed bid for unitary status.The city had hoped to break away from Devon County Council, but its denial by government triggered the county-wide review.EDDC has opposed the review, saying the statuis quo is fine. But it will now consult other authorities, and business partners to canvass views on what changes, if any, they would want. This will help the district council decide what future shape it prefers to see for local government across Devon.Once the Boundary Committee has received submissions from all Devon's councils, it will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government in December. On Monday, the Boundary Committee members explained the format and timetable for their review. The Boundary Committee says any alternative system of local government must meet five criteria:l A broad cross-section of support from the communityl Strategic leadershipl Neighbourhood empowermentl Value for money in provision of servicesl AffordabilityThe committee wants initial ideas from existing councils, by April, before publishing draft proposals in July.EDDC leader Sara Randall Johnson, said: "People can rest assured that uppermost in our minds will be protecting the unique environment and ambience of East Devon."This is a major growth area for the region, in terms of jobs and housing. It is Exeter's land bank for residential and business development and has a great deal to offer the region's economy."More information about the review is available online at www.eastdevon .gov.uk/new_councils_for_devon_-_have_your_say.htm
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