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Local Government: Unitary Authorities

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the invitation to local authorities to submit proposals for unitary status, published on 26 October, is according to the system and within the framework and constraints set out in Part 1 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill. [HL999]

Chapter 1 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill provides the procedure by which the Secretary of State may invite proposals for a single tier of local government from district and county councils in England. The invitation that was issued on 26 October is in accordance with the provisions of the Bill.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the timescale for the invitation to local authorities to submit proposals for unitary status, published on 26 October with a deadline of 25 January 2007, gives sufficient time for the development of proposals; and whether they will consider an extension of this deadline if requested in particular cases. [HL1000]

The Government consider that requiring councils to submit proposals by 25 January gives them sufficient time. As the invitation document, published on 26 October 2006, makes clear, the Government give no commitment that they will consider proposals received after that date.