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Consultation response summary: local government reorganisation
On 22 February 2021 the Secretary of State launched a statutory consultation on eight locally led proposals for local government reorganisation received from councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, and Somerset. He welcomed views from any interested persons, including residents.
The consultation closed on 19 April and received 13,020 responses. Of these, 3,225 were in relation to Cumbria, 4,297 in relation to North Yorkshire, and 5,498 in relation to Somerset.
After careful consideration of the eight locally led proposals, all representations received, including the 13,020 responses to the statutory consultation, and of all other relevant information available to him, including for Somerset the results of a local poll and the representations received about it and its conduct, the Secretary of State has decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval:
- For Cumbria, a proposal submitted by Allerdale and Copeland councils for two unitary councils – the East unitary covering Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland and the West unitary covering Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland.
- For North Yorkshire, a proposal submitted by the county council for a single unitary for the whole of the administrative county of North Yorkshire.
- For Somerset, a proposal submitted by the county council for a single unitary covering the whole of the administrative county of Somerset.
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.
The Secretary of State announced these decisions to Parliament via a written ministerial statement. The Secretary of State intends around the turn of the year to lay before Parliament the draft Orders which, if approved by Parliament, will give effect to these decisions, leading to elections for the unitary councils in May 2022 and for those councils to be fully up and running from April 2023.
Councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset have submitted proposals for the reorganisation of local government in their area by creating a single tier of local government.
We are seeking views on these proposals to help the Secretary of State form a judgement on which, if any, proposal best meets the criteria for implementing these reforms.