Unitary delay update: It's no surprise, says Torridge council Leader

TORRIDGE District Council Leader James Morrish said the delay in publishing advice on the future of local government in Devon came as no surprise to him. The Boundary Committee was to have published its recommendations on unitary status today. But the p

TORRIDGE District Council Leader James Morrish said the delay in publishing advice on the future of local government in Devon came as no surprise to him.

The Boundary Committee was to have published its recommendations on unitary status today.

But the process has been delayed because of criticism made in the High Court about a similar exercise which had been taking place in Suffolk.

Mr Morrish said: "I believe they were badly organised from the start and showed very little commitment to constructive partnership working and a joined up approach when it comes to working with district councils. Just one member of their team visited Torridge on only one occasion for just two hours.


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"It is sad that actually while the Boundary Committee continue to bumble along on their own unique way they pay little or no respect to the damage the process is doing to the morale and the future of not only local district councils but parish and town councils as well.

"I now truly believe that the Committee should stop wasting public money and admit to the Secretary of State that the process is unable to go any further. They should allow town, parish and district councils like Torridge to get on and do the job that our residents and businesses expect us to do - providing good services and good value for money."

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Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said: "Today's news of further delay is entirely predictable given the farce so far.

"The whole process has now descended into chaos and is a distraction that Devon simply does not want or need.

"It's time for the Secretary of State to finally put his ideas for major change in the county into the recycling bin and let us all get on with the job of pulling together, to do our best for local people during the challenging times ahead."

The committee had been considering two unitary authority proposals for local government, both of which would have meant the demise of district councils.

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