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Local Government

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many councils in England operate the (a) leader and cabinet, (b) mayor and cabinet, (c) mayor and manager and (d) streamlined committee systems of decision-making; and if she will make a statement. (117245)

The number of councils operating each governance model is as follows:

(a) Leader and cabinet—318

(b) Mayor and cabinet—11

(c) Mayor and council manager—1

(d) Alternative arrangements (streamlined committee system)—56

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of local authorities in England elect councillors (a) by thirds and (b) all-out. (117246)

Of the 388 principal local authorities in England, 35 per cent. (all 36 metropolitan district councils and 98 shire district councils) elect by thirds; 2 per cent. (seven shire district councils) elect by halves; and 63 per cent. (all 32 London boroughs and the City of London, all 35 county councils and 179 shire district councils and the Isles of Scilly) hold whole council elections.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of local authorities electing councillors by thirds have expressed a wish to move to all-out elections. (117247)

Following the Electoral Commission's report “The cycle of local government elections in England” which, after consultation with stakeholders, recommended a move to all-out elections for all local authorities in England, we have received inquiries about changing electoral cycles from 21 per cent. of shire district councils that currently elect by thirds. To date, three of those local authorities have made a formal request to amend their cycle. The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill provides that, in future, all councils, including metropolitan district councils that are currently barred from whole council elections, which elect by thirds can, by council resolution, move to whole council elections.