MONDAY, July 21 - Unitary 'may not be best for Topsham'

PUBLISHED: 14:40 21 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:20 10 June 2010

TOPSHAM will have no more say in local government if plans go ahead for one super-sized council, Topsham councillor Mark Starling has said. He spoke out after the Boundary Committee announced their proposals for one 'super-unitary' council providing all l

TOPSHAM will have no more say in local government if plans go ahead for one super-sized council, Topsham councillor Mark Starling has said.He spoke out after the Boundary Committee announced their proposals for one 'super-unitary' council providing all local services across Devon - replacing Exeter City Council.He is in support of the alternative plan, also put forward, for one council for Exeter extending to the sea, including all the surrounding villages and towns, and said "this is the only way it will truly represent Topsham".The Conservative councillor said: "This (first proposal) is diluting local representations and I don't think it is in the best interest of people."Topsham will have more of a say on what happens locally if the council is kept local."I believe a unitary authority in Exeter will result in more decisions being taken locally, more efficient local government and quicker responses to meeting people's needs."However, this plan is subsidiary and the Boundary Committee have said in their report that they still prefer the one unitary authority for Devon.Councillor Pete Edwards, Chair of the Exeter City Council's Local Government Review Committee, said: "Under the super-sized option, Devon would be a county where the only people with a voice in local affairs would be a small number of powerless councillors and unelected representatives. "Key decisions will be taken by a remote and inflexible bureaucracy covering the whole of Devon."The consultation, which invites responses from local people, businesses and organisations, as well as councillors, started on July 7 and will continue for 12 weeks, at end of which the Government will make a decision.Further information can be found on www.boundarycommittee.org.uk.

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