'Important debate'

PUBLISHED: 16:37 27 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:23 10 June 2010

SUNDAY, JULY 27: A large turnout impressed local authority leaders who gathered in Exmouth to address community groups on the future of local government. A trio from District, County and Exeter City councils were speaking on the recent Boundary Commission recommendations

A large turnout impressed local authority leaders who gathered in Exmouth to address community groups on the future of local government.A trio from District, County and Exeter City councils were speaking on the recent Boundary Commission recommendations for Devon government.The Commission's main call backed a single Devon authority of around 100 members, to go alongside existing unitary bodies in Plymouth and Torbay, beginning in 2010. Market town community boards will represent individual areas.A surprise subsidiary option placed Exmouth and adjoining parishes in a new authority in a four-council Devon.Hosted by the Exmouth Community Association and Exmouth Residents Association, County Council and District Council leaders Brian Greenslade and Sara Randall Johnson were joined by former Exeter City Council leader Pete Edwards - all three taking public questions.Town Clerk John Wokersien represented Exmouth Town Council at the meeting, and spoke of the importance of the debate.Describing the Town Council's position as a 'David and Goliath' story, he said: "I'm not sure a lot of the community have realised just how important this is. The big question for Exmouth is what delegated powers it could take on. This is the biggest opportunity the Town Council has had since it was created in 1996."The Town Council has called a Town Hall meeting on Monday, September 22, 7pm, to debate the proposals. A working party is currently reviewing the situation.The Boundary Commission will consult on their recommendations until September 26, before a Government decision on the future of councils next year.To have your say - go online at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or write to Review Manager Devon, Boundary Commission for England, Trevalyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1 2HW, or call (0207) 2710512.

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