Unitary status for Exeter, but North Devon district councils will remain

THE Government has announced today that Exeter will run its own affairs as a unitary authority. But the rest of Devon will remain unchanged. The proposals for Exeter will be voted on by Parliament before they become law and the new authority could be up

THE Government has announced today that Exeter will run its own affairs as a unitary authority. But the rest of Devon will remain unchanged.

The proposals for Exeter will be voted on by Parliament before they become law and the new authority could be up and running by 2011.

Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton said: "Our highest priority is to have the best and most efficient local services for the people of Devon and for the area to have the strong local leadership it needs to rebuild local economies and deliver jobs as we move towards recovery.

"The city of Exeter is at the centre of regional economic activity and its economic performance is crucial for its residents and the wider area. That's why today we're putting Exeter's local leaders who know their areas best in charge of delivering all local services and at the heart of delivering economic growth. A unitary Exeter authority will work for the interests of the people who live, work and study in Exeter and they will have one body to hold to account.


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"Across Devon we listened carefully to the views of interested councils, MPs and other stakeholders and the option of a unitary structure for the whole of Devon did not have sufficient support from key councils.

Legitimate fears were expressed that a single authority would not be able to cope with the divergent needs across such a large area. As a result the Government had no option but to rule out a unitary authority for the whole of Devon, as it could not succeed without local support.

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