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Local Authorities: Reorganisation

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 7 February 2008, Official Report, column 1297W, on local authorities: reorganisation, whether her Department will direct the Boundary Committee to take account of (a) the views of local residents and (b) local identities when deciding whether to restructure local authority areas across (i) traditional and (ii) existing shire and county boundaries. (189409)

The Secretary of State has no such power of direction. I announced on 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 67WS that we have requested the Boundary Committee to advise on whether there are any alternative unitary proposals for Exeter, Ipswich and Norwich and surrounding areas that would deliver the outcomes specified by the five criteria specified in our request. The Boundary Committee is required to consult on any alternative proposals that it identifies.