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Local Government: East of England

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his plans are for the parliamentary timetable for secondary legislation in relation to local government restructuring in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon. (288300)

Following the High Court judgment in the case of Forest Heath District Council and Others v. the Boundary Committee for England, the Boundary Committee informed us that it was not able to provide the requested advice on unitary local government in Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk by 15 July. We agreed that the deadline for providing advice should be extended. Once it is clear when any appeal against the court's judgment may be determined a new date by which the Boundary Committee is requested to advise will be specified.

The statute provides that the Secretary of State may not make a decision about any unitary proposals put to him within six weeks of the date the Committee has been requested to provide advice.

Any Orders to implement unitary proposals in Norfolk, Suffolk or Devon would be laid before Parliament as soon as practicable after statutory decisions are taken.