Queen's Speech: Local Government Bill

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Notes on: "Legislation will be introduced to stop uncompleted plans to create unitary councils."

The purpose of the Bill

Revoke structural change orders that established Exeter and Norwich as Unitary Councils from 1 April 2010 and prevents the implementation of the Suffolk unitary proposals that remain outstanding.

The main benefits of the Bill

  • Stopping expensive and unnecessary restructuring plans enabling £40m restructuring costs to be saved.
  • Avoiding the disruption of reorganization for the councils concerned and remove the risk of fragmenting major local services, such as children’s services, in those areas.
  • Giving certainty and stability about local government structures for the statutory consultation on the local government financial settlement.

The main elements of the Bill

  • To prevent any further orders to be made implementing unitary proposals received before the Bill’s commencement date.
  • To revoke the orders that create from 1 April 2011 unitary councils for the cities of Exeter and Norwich.
  • Where any councillor’s term of office has been extended by one year by any order, the Bill would allow such extension to continue. This avoids by-elections on the revocation of the orders with the associated costs that would arise.

Existing legislation in this area

  • Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

The Bill will revoke the following secondary legislation

  • The Exeter and Devon (Structural Changes) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/998)
  • The Norwich and Norfolk (Structural Changes) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/997)


Applies to England and Wales only.