Queen's Speech: Local Government Bill

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

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

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.

Published 25 May 2010