My honourable friend the Minister for Local Government has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Our local government White Paper, Strong and prosperous communities, proposed that a move to whole council elections should be a matter for local discretion. We have now included provision to give effect to this in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill, which received its Second Reading on 22 January. District councils will in future, subject to the Bill receiving Royal Assent, be able to move to whole council elections after passing a resolution to that effect and for that change to take place in the usual year for whole council elections for that type of authority.
In these circumstances, we believe that it is no longer appropriate for the Secretary of State to make orders under Section 7 of the Local Government Act 1972 to effect changes to electoral cycles, should she be requested to do so by shire district councils in accordance with the procedures in that section.