Next steps for new unitary councils in three regions

Plans for new unitary councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset have taken an important step forward following the Communities Secretary’s approval.

Robert Jenrick said that the plans will move the areas away from a two-tier system of county and district councils to unitary councils, strengthening local leadership and transforming the way services are delivered in these areas. The government says that establishing these new unitary councils will help ensure the people and businesses across Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset can have the sustainable high-quality local services they deserve.

For Cumbria two unitary councils will be established - an East unitary council covering Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland and a West unitary council covering Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland, and in North Yorkshire and Somerset, a new single unitary council will be established for each county area; all subject to Parliamentary approval.

The Local Government Secretary has asked the existing councils and their partners to work collaboratively and constructively together to drive forward the process of establishing unitary councils.

Jenrick said: “I have always been clear that any restructuring of local government must be locally-led and will not involve top-down solutions from government. Residents, businesses and service providers have had their say on what will work best for their area and now councils in these three areas can start planning for the next step. Where there is local support, changing the structure of local government can offer better value for money and improved services for residents.”

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