Tories pledge to stop Devon unitary authority plan

THE Conservatives will stop unitary authority plans for Devon if they have not been brought into force by the time of the next general election. This pledge has been made by deputy party chairman Bob Neill MP, shadow minister for local government and pla

THE Conservatives will stop unitary authority plans for Devon if they have not been brought into force by the time of the next general election.This pledge has been made by deputy party chairman Bob Neill MP, shadow minister for local government and planning. The Boundary Committee is due to make its final recommendations on unitary status for Devon next month.It favours either a unitary covering the whole of Devon or one covering Exeter and Exmouth and another for the rest of the county. In either case, it would mean the demise of the county's district councils.Mr Neill claimed the financial case for unitary authorities had been comprehensively demolished by respected academics Professors Chisholm and Leach in their book, Botched Business."A Conservative Government will not support any further unitary restructuring as we believe it is expensive, time-consuming, unproductive and divisive," he said."We will stop unitary restructuring plans for Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon if they have not been brought into force by the time of the general election."Mr Neill said there was, however, great potential for more joint working between councils, including the sharing of back office functions and greater co-operation."Such initiatives are already being implemented by many local authorities across the country," he said.


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