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Local Government: Unitary Authorities

Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 9 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend that there will be a general upper limit to the number of proposals for unitary status and the number of pathfinders for new two-tier models respectively that they will approve following the invitation to local authorities to submit proposals, published on 26 October; and, if so, what the limits will be. [HL998]

As stated in paragraph 5.16 of the invitation to councils to make proposals for future unitary structures that was published alongside the local government White Paper, the Government think they will be unlikely to be able to implement more than eight proposals. However, the final decision on the number of proposals that will be implemented will depend crucially on the content of local authority submissions and the potential impact on public expenditure totals if these proposals were approved. This expected maximum number would not preclude the Government from deciding to implement more if they offered good value for money and were affordable.