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2009 structural changes to local government in England

2009 structural changes to local government in England

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Structural changes to local government in England were effected on 1 April 2009, whereby a number of new unitary authorities
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

 were created in parts of the country which previously operated a 'two-tier' system of counties
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and...

 and districts. In five shire counties
Shire county
A non-metropolitan county, or shire county, is a county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county. The counties typically have populations of 300,000 to 1.4 million. The term shire county is, however, an unofficial usage. Many of the non-metropolitan counties bear historic names...

 the functions of the county and district councils were combined into a single authority; and in two counties the powers of the county council were absorbed into a significantly reduced number of districts.

Elections to the new authorities
United Kingdom local elections, 2008
The 2008 United Kingdom local elections were held on 1 May 2008. These elections took place in 137 English Local Authorities and all Welsh Councils....

 took place on 1 May 2008 for some of the new authorities, which took up their powers on 1 April 2009. The other new authorities retained the existing county council as the "continuing authority" as of 1 April 2009 with elections taking place two months later on 4 June 2009.

Background


Following the passing of the Local Government Act 1992, the Local Government Commission for England
Local Government Commission for England (1992)
The Local Government Commission for England was the body responsible for reviewing the structure of local government in England from 1992 to 2002. It was established under the Local Government Act 1992, replacing the Local Government Boundary Commission for England...

 recommended a number of unitary authorities to be created in England during the 1990s. The changes that were implemented meant that much of the country continued to have a two-tier arrangement of local government. Further proposals for unitary authorities in northern England, tied to the option of regional devolution, were put to a referendum in 2004 and were rejected. In 2006, the white paper Strong and Prosperous Communities invited local authorities in England to submit their own consensus-based proposals for unitary authority arrangements, to be submitted before 25 January 2007. Selected submissions went to a public consultation from March until June, with successful proposals announced in July. Legislative requirements for implementation were in place following the enactment of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.The Act allows for the implementation of many provisions outlined in the Government white paper Strong and Prosperous Communities including changes to local government in England...

.

Early responses


Various local councils indicated they wish to seek unitary authority status. Four medium-sized towns and historic county borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

s, overlooked by the 1990s review: Ipswich, Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

 and Exeter
Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

 proposed unitary status on their present boundaries, and commissioned a report jointly to press their case. Norwich announced its intention to respond to the invitation, as did Ipswich and Exeter. In Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, Preston
City of Preston, Lancashire
The City of Preston is a city and non-metropolitan district in Lancashire, England. It is located on the north bank of the River Ribble, and was granted city status in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign...

 and South Ribble
South Ribble
South Ribble is a non-metropolitan district and borough of Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Leyland.In May 2007, the council was officially declared "Excellent" by the Audit Commission, gaining its place among the best 5 district councils in the country,-Overview:On 4 October 2007, a...

 desired to form a single unitary authority although Preston bid for it alone. The City of Lancaster
City of Lancaster
The City of Lancaster , is a local government district of Lancashire, England, with the status of a city and non-metropolitan district. It is named after its largest settlement, Lancaster, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Morecambe, Heysham, and Carnforth, as well as...

 considered seeking unitary status on its present boundaries (having supported a merger with South Lakeland
South Lakeland
South Lakeland is a local government district in Cumbria, England. Its council is based in Kendal. It includes much of the Lake District.The district was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972...

 and Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness (borough)
Barrow-in-Furness is a local government district with borough status in Cumbria, England. It is named after its main town, Barrow-in-Furness. Other settlements include Dalton-in-Furness, Roose and Askam-in-Furness. It is the smallest borough in the county, but is the most densely populated, with...

 to form a Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay is a large bay in northwest England, nearly due east of the Isle of Man and just to the south of the Lake District National Park. It is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom, covering a total area of 310 km².-Natural features:The rivers Leven,...

 unitary authority during the referendums review). Blackpool advocated a merger with the Fylde and Wyre
Wyre
Wyre is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Poulton-le-Fylde.The district is named after the River Wyre, which runs through the district...

 districts, which they did not support. Pendle
Pendle
Pendle is a local government district and borough of Lancashire, England. It adjoins the Lancashire boroughs of Burnley and Ribble Valley, the North Yorkshire district of Craven and the West Yorkshire districts of Calderdale and the City of Bradford...

 and Burnley
Burnley
Burnley is a market town in the Burnley borough of Lancashire, England, with a population of around 73,500. It lies north of Manchester and east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun....

 also tried to form a unitary authority with Rossendale
Rossendale
Rossendale is a local government district with borough status. It is made up of a number of small former mill towns in Lancashire, England centered around the valley of the River Irwell in the industrial North West...

; however Rossendale rejected this.

The Local Government Chronicle
Local Government Chronicle
Local Government Chronicle is a British weekly magazine for local government officers, and is published by Emap. The magazine was launched in 1855 by bookseller and publisher Charles Knight...

 suggested that the non-metropolitan counties of Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

 and Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 would fit the government's criteria, and that the government would be unlikely to favour carving out unitary authorities from existing two-tier counties. Shropshire County Council, as well as two of the five districts of Shropshire, stated their wish for a move to unitary status. The issue was considered in Durham and Cumbria and the idea of a North Cumbria authority covering the Eden, Copeland, Carlisle and Allerdale districts had some support. The issue was also considered in Northumberland, with the county council in favour of one Northumberland unitary authority. Alan Beith, the MP for Berwick
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

 at the far north of Northumberland, suggested instead a three unitary solution, with authorities for the largely rural north and south-west, and an authority for the urban south-east (Wansbeck
Wansbeck
Wansbeck was a local government district in south-east Northumberland, England. Its main population centres were Ashington, Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea....

 and Blyth Valley
Blyth Valley
Blyth Valley was a Local government district and borough in south-east Northumberland, England, bordering the North Sea and Tyne and Wear. The two principal towns were Blyth and Cramlington...

).

Consultation period


On 26 January 2007, the government confirmed that 26 proposals for unitary authorities had been received. Various county councils proposed they should become unitary authorities: Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

, Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

, Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

, Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 and Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

. Districts seeking to become unitary authorities on their own were Bedford
Bedford (borough)
Bedford is a unitary authority with the status of a borough in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based at Bedford, which is also the county town of Bedfordshire. The borough contains a single urban area, the 69th largest in the United Kingdom that comprises Bedford and...

, Exeter
Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

, Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

, Lancaster
City of Lancaster
The City of Lancaster , is a local government district of Lancashire, England, with the status of a city and non-metropolitan district. It is named after its largest settlement, Lancaster, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Morecambe, Heysham, and Carnforth, as well as...

, Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, Preston
City of Preston, Lancashire
The City of Preston is a city and non-metropolitan district in Lancashire, England. It is located on the north bank of the River Ribble, and was granted city status in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign...

. Pendle
Pendle
Pendle is a local government district and borough of Lancashire, England. It adjoins the Lancashire boroughs of Burnley and Ribble Valley, the North Yorkshire district of Craven and the West Yorkshire districts of Calderdale and the City of Bradford...

 and Burnley
Burnley (borough)
Burnley is a local government district of Lancashire, England, with the status of a non-metropolitan district and borough. It has an area of and a population of , and is named for its largest town, Burnley. The borough is bounded by Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle, Rossendale — all in Lancashire...

 proposed merging as a unitary authority. On 27 March 2007, the government announced that the proposals by Bedfordshire, Bedford, Cornwall, Cheshire, Cumbria, Durham, Exeter, Ipswich, North Yorkshire, Norwich, Shropshire, Somerset and Wiltshire to become unitary authorities would go into the next phase, as would the proposal of Chester for a two-unitary authority Cheshire and by the districts of Northumberland for a two-unitary Northumberland.

On 25 July 2007 it was announced that the unitary proposals by Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

 and Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 had been rejected. On 5 December 2007 it was explained that the unitary proposals by Exeter
Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

, and Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

, like those of Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

 (which were referred for review on 25 July 2007) did not meet the requirements to proceed; but may be reconsidered after the Boundary Committee
Boundary Committee for England
The Boundary Committee for England was a statutory committee of the Electoral Commission, an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. The Committee’s aim was to conduct thorough, consultative and robust reviews of local government areas in England, and for its recommendations to be...

 has conducted a review of local government structures across the whole of the two-tier counties they are currently a part of.

A legal challenge was made by Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council
Shrewsbury and Atcham
Shrewsbury and Atcham was, between 1974 and 2009, a local government district with borough status in Shropshire, England.Shrewsbury was the only town in the borough; Atcham, although itself only a village, was included in the name as a reflection of the incorporation into the borough of the former...

 and by Congleton Borough Council
Congleton
Congleton is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Dane, to the west of the Macclesfield Canal and 21 miles south of Manchester. It has a population of 25,750.-History:The first settlements in...

 to the government's decisions, on the basis (amongst other things) that the reviews were made without statutory authority. The High Court and then on 4 March 2008 the Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal of England and Wales
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom above it...

 rejected the challenge, finding that the review had been legalized retrospectively.
Region Proposed by Proposal Result
East
East of England
The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.Its...

 
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

 County Council
single unitary authority Not proceeding
Bedford
Bedford (borough)
Bedford is a unitary authority with the status of a borough in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based at Bedford, which is also the county town of Bedfordshire. The borough contains a single urban area, the 69th largest in the United Kingdom that comprises Bedford and...

 Borough Council
unitary authority with existing boundaries Implemented
Mid Bedfordshire District Council
South Bedfordshire
South Bedfordshire
South Bedfordshire was, from 1974 to 2009, a non-metropolitan district of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. Its main towns were Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.-Creation:...

 District Council
unitary Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created from the merger of Bedfordshire County Council, Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire on 1 April 2009...

 
Implemented
Ipswich Borough Council unitary authority with existing boundaries Referred to Boundary Committee
Boundary Committee for England
The Boundary Committee for England was a statutory committee of the Electoral Commission, an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. The Committee’s aim was to conduct thorough, consultative and robust reviews of local government areas in England, and for its recommendations to be...

 who decided in February 2010 that while there was support for a unitary structure in Suffolk there were divergent views on what that structure should be. Accordingly, they sugggested the establishment of "a countywide constitutional convention to reach a consensus on a unitary solution."
Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

 City Council
unitary authority with existing boundaries Referred to Boundary Committee. In February 2010 it was announced that Norwich was to become a unitary authority in April 2011, subject to the approval of parliament.
East Midlands
East Midlands
The East Midlands is one of the regions of England, consisting of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. It encompasses the combined area of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and most of Lincolnshire...

 
no bids
London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 
not affected by the review
North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

 
Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

 County Council
single unitary authority Implemented
Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 County Council
single unitary authority Implemented
Northumberland districts two unitary authorities Not proceeding
North West
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

 
Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

 County Council
single unitary authority Not proceeding
Chester
Chester (district)
Chester was a non-metropolitan local government district of Cheshire, England, with the status of a city and a borough.Apart from Chester itself, which was the principal settlement, the district covered a large rural area...

 City Council
two unitary authorities:
Cheshire West and Chester
Cheshire West and Chester
Cheshire West and Chester is a unitary authority area with borough status, in the ceremonial county of Cheshire. It was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health...

 and Cheshire East
Cheshire East
Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England.The borough was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in...

 
Implemented
Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

 County Council
single unitary authority Not proceeding
South East
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

 
no bids
South West
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

 
Cornwall County Council
Cornwall County Council
Cornwall Council is the unitary authority for Cornwall, in England, United Kingdom. The council, and its predecessor Cornwall County Council, has a tradition of large groups of independents, having been controlled by independents in the 1970s and 1980s...

 
single unitary authority, Cornwall Council  Implemented
Exeter
Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

 City Council
unitary authority with existing boundaries Referred to Boundary Committee. In February 2010 it was announced that Exeter was to become a unitary authority in April 2011, subject to the approval of parliament.
Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 County Council
single unitary authority Not proceeding
Wiltshire County Council
Wiltshire County Council
Wiltshire County Council was the county council of Wiltshire in the South West of England, an elected local Government body responsible for most local government services in the county....

 
single unitary authority Implemented
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber is one of the nine regions of England and formally one of the government office regions. It covers most of the historic county of Yorkshire, along with the part of northern Lincolnshire that was, from 1974 to 1996, within the former shire county of Humberside. The...

 
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

 County Council
single unitary authority Not proceeding
West Midlands
West Midlands (region)
The West Midlands is an official region of England, covering the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. It contains the second most populous British city, Birmingham, and the larger West Midlands conurbation, which includes the city of Wolverhampton and large towns of Dudley,...

 
Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

 County Council
single unitary authority Implemented


† - in the context of examining options for unitary arrangements in the wider county area.

‡ - the Boundary Committee is asked to advise whether an alternative unitary proposal for Norwich based on revised council boundaries could deliver the required improvements.

Successful proposals


On 27 March 2007 Local Government Minister Phil Woolas
Phil Woolas
Philip James Woolas was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth from his election in 1997 to 2010. He was the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration in the Home Office, as well as being the Minister of State for the Treasury...

 announced that 16 councils bidding for unitary status had been shortlisted to go forward for public consultation. On 25 July 2007 Woolas' successor John Healey
John Healey
John Healey is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Wentworth and Dearne since 1997, and former Minister of State for Housing and Planning. In 2010 he was elected to the shadow cabinet and appointed shadow health secretary...

 announced that nine proposals would proceed, subject to the approval of Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.The Act allows for the implementation of many provisions outlined in the Government white paper Strong and Prosperous Communities including changes to local government in England...

. A further announcement on 5 December indicated that only the five county level proposals (Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

, Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

, Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, and Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

) would proceed, while further consideration was to be given to the various proposals submitted for two more county areas (Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

 and Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

). On 18 December it was confirmed that the two-authority plan for Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

 would proceed. On 6 March 2008 it was confirmed that proposals for Bedford
Bedford
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

 Borough Council to become a unitary authority on its existing boundaries, and for Mid Bedfordshire District Council and South Bedfordshire District Council to merge to create a new Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created from the merger of Bedfordshire County Council, Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire on 1 April 2009...

 authority would be implemented.

Single authorities


In the following areas, the existing non-metropolitan county has now also become a non-metropolitan district (i.e. a "unitary county") and the existing non-metropolitan districts have been abolished.
Ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

Non-metropolitan districts
abolished in 2009
New unitary authority
from 2009
Existing unitary authorities
from 1990s reforms
Map
Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

Penwith
Penwith
Penwith was a local government district in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, whose council was based in Penzance. The district covered all of the Penwith peninsula, the toe-like promontory of land at the western end of Cornwall and which included an area of land to the east that fell outside the...


Kerrier
Kerrier
Kerrier was a local government district in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It was the most southerly district in the United Kingdom, other than the Isles of Scilly. Its council was based in Camborne ....


Carrick
Carrick, Cornwall
Carrick was a local government district in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Its council was based in Truro. The main centres of population, industry and commerce were the city of Truro and the towns of Falmouth/Penryn....


Restormel
Restormel
Restormel was a borough of Cornwall, United Kingdom, one of the six administrative divisions that made up the county. Its council was based in St Austell . Other towns included Newquay....

 (Borough)
Caradon
Caradon
Caradon was a local government district in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It contained five towns: Callington, Liskeard, Looe, Saltash and Torpoint, and over 80 villages and hamlets within 41 civil parishes...


North Cornwall
North Cornwall
North Cornwall was the largest of the six local government districts of Cornwall, United Kingdom. Its council was based in Wadebridge . Other towns in the district included Bude, Bodmin, Launceston, Padstow, and Camelford....

Cornwall Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

 †
Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

Durham (City)
Easington
Easington (district)
Easington was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in eastern County Durham, England. It contained the settlements of Easington, Seaham, Peterlee, Murton, Horden, Blackhall, Wingate and Castle Eden...


Sedgefield
Sedgefield (borough)
Sedgefield was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district and borough in County Durham, in North East England. It had a population of about 87,000 . It was named after Sedgefield; but its largest town was Newton Aycliffe...

 (Borough)
Teesdale
Teesdale (district)
Teesdale was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Barnard Castle and it was named after the valley of the River Tees....


Wear Valley
Wear Valley
Wear Valley was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Crook.The district covered much of the Weardale area. In the west it was parished and rural, whereas in the east it was more urban...


Derwentside
Derwentside
Derwentside was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England.The district took its name from the River Derwent, which made up part of the northern border of the district. Its main towns were Consett and Stanley, with the district council offices on Consett's Medomsley...


Chester-le-Street
Chester-le-Street (district)
Chester-le-Street was a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Chester-le-Street. Other places in the district included Great Lumley and Sacriston.- Formation :...

Durham Hartlepool
Hartlepool (borough)
Hartlepool is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of County Durham, north east England. In 2003 it had a resident population of 90,161. It borders the non-metropolitan county of County Durham to the north, Stockton-on-Tees to the south and Redcar and Cleveland to the south-east along the...


Darlington
Darlington (borough)
Darlington is a local government district and borough in North East England. In 2008 it had a resident population of 100,500 It borders County Durham to the north and west, North Yorkshire to the south along the line of the River Tees, and Stockton-on-Tees to the east.-Council:Traditionally part of...


Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees (borough)
Stockton-on-Tees is a unitary authority area and borough in the Tees Valley area of north east England, with a population in 2001 of 178,408, rising to 185,880 in 2005 estimates....

 (part)
Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

Blyth Valley
Blyth Valley
Blyth Valley was a Local government district and borough in south-east Northumberland, England, bordering the North Sea and Tyne and Wear. The two principal towns were Blyth and Cramlington...

 (Borough)
Wansbeck
Wansbeck
Wansbeck was a local government district in south-east Northumberland, England. Its main population centres were Ashington, Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea....


Castle Morpeth
Castle Morpeth
Castle Morpeth was a local government district and borough in Northumberland, England. Its administrative centre was the town of Morpeth.The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Morpeth and Morpeth Rural District, along with part of Castle Ward Rural District.The...

 (Borough)
Tynedale
Tynedale
Tynedale was a local government district in south-west Northumberland, England. It had a resident population of 58,808 according to the 2001 Census, and was named after the River Tyne . Its main towns were Hexham, Haltwhistle and Prudhoe...


Alnwick
Alnwick (district)
Alnwick was a local government district of Northumberland, England. Its council was based in Alnwick town and the district had a population of 31,029 according to the 2001 census....


Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed (borough)
Berwick-upon-Tweed was a local government district and borough in Northumberland in the north-east of England, on the border with Scotland. The district had a resident population of 25,949 according to the 2001 census, which also notes that it is the most ethnically homogeneous in the country, with...

 (Borough)
Northumberland none
Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

North Shropshire
North Shropshire
North Shropshire was a local government district in Shropshire, England. The district council was based at Edinburgh House, in Wem. Other settlements included the towns of Ellesmere, Market Drayton, Wem and Whitchurch, as well as the large villages of Shawbury and Baschurch...


Oswestry
Oswestry (borough)
Oswestry was a small local government district with borough status in Shropshire, England. It was the smallest of the five districts of Shropshire in terms of both population and land area....

 (Borough)
Shrewsbury and Atcham
Shrewsbury and Atcham
Shrewsbury and Atcham was, between 1974 and 2009, a local government district with borough status in Shropshire, England.Shrewsbury was the only town in the borough; Atcham, although itself only a village, was included in the name as a reflection of the incorporation into the borough of the former...

 (Borough)
South Shropshire
South Shropshire
South Shropshire was, between 1974 and 2009, a local government district in south west Shropshire, England.South Shropshire was the most rural district of one of the UK's most rural counties, the population of the district was 40,410 in 2001 spread out over 1,027 km² of forest, mountains,...


Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth (district)
Bridgnorth District was, between 1974 and 2009, a local government district in Shropshire, England. Its main town was Bridgnorth and other towns in its area were Much Wenlock, Shifnal and Broseley. The villages of Albrighton and Sheriffhales as well as RAF Cosford were also in the district.The...

Shropshire Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin is a unitary district with borough status in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. The district was created in 1974 as The...

Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

Salisbury
Salisbury (district)
Salisbury was a local government district in Wiltshire, England from 1974 to 2009. Its main urban area was the city of Salisbury.The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the previous municipal boroughs of Salisbury and Wilton, along with Amesbury...


West Wiltshire
West Wiltshire
West Wiltshire was a local government district in Wiltshire, England, formed on 1 April 1974, further to the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the former urban districts of Bradford-on-Avon, Melksham, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury, along with Bradford and Melksham Rural District and...


Kennet
North Wiltshire
North Wiltshire
North Wiltshire was a local government district in Wiltshire, England, formed on 1 April 1974, by a merger of the municipal boroughs of Calne, Chippenham, and Malmesbury along with Calne and Chippenham Rural District, Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Rural District and Malmesbury Rural District...

Wiltshire Swindon
Swindon (borough)
The Borough of Swindon is a local government authority in South West England. It is centred on the town of Swindon and forms part of the ceremonial county of Wiltshire...



sui generis unitary authority since 1890

Multiple authorities


In the following areas, the existing non-metropolitan county councils have been abolished. Each of the two new non-metropolitan districts in Cheshire (resulting from amalgamations of the existing districts) is now also be a non-metropolitan county. In Bedfordshire the new Central Bedfordshire non-metropolitan district (resulting from the amalgamation of two existing districts) is now also a non-metropolitan county, and the previous Bedford non-metropolitan district is now a unitary council.
Ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

Non-metropolitan districts
abolished in 2009
New unitary authorities
from 2009
Existing unitary authorities
from 1990s reforms
Map
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

Mid Bedfordshire
South Bedfordshire
South Bedfordshire
South Bedfordshire was, from 1974 to 2009, a non-metropolitan district of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. Its main towns were Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.-Creation:...

1. Bedford
Bedford (borough)
Bedford is a unitary authority with the status of a borough in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based at Bedford, which is also the county town of Bedfordshire. The borough contains a single urban area, the 69th largest in the United Kingdom that comprises Bedford and...

 ‡
2. Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created from the merger of Bedfordshire County Council, Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire on 1 April 2009...

3. Luton
Luton
Luton is a large town and unitary authority of Bedfordshire, England, 30 miles north of London. Luton and its near neighbours, Dunstable and Houghton Regis, form the Luton/Dunstable Urban Area with a population of about 250,000....

Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

Ellesmere Port and Neston
Ellesmere Port and Neston
Ellesmere Port and Neston was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district with borough status in Cheshire, England. It covered the southern part of the Wirral Peninsula, namely that part which is not included in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral....

 (Borough)
Chester
Chester (district)
Chester was a non-metropolitan local government district of Cheshire, England, with the status of a city and a borough.Apart from Chester itself, which was the principal settlement, the district covered a large rural area...

 (District and City)
Crewe and Nantwich
Crewe and Nantwich
Crewe and Nantwich was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district with borough status in Cheshire, England. It had a population of 111,007...

 (Borough)
Congleton
Congleton (borough)
Congleton was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district with borough status in Cheshire, England. It included the towns of Congleton, Alsager, Holmes Chapel, Middlewich and Sandbach...

 (Borough)
Macclesfield
Macclesfield (borough)
Macclesfield was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district with borough status in Cheshire, England. It included the towns of Bollington, Knutsford, Macclesfield and Wilmslow and within its wider area the villages and hamlets of Adlington, Disley, Gawsworth, Kerridge, Pott Shrigley, Poynton,...

 (Borough)
Vale Royal
Vale Royal
Vale Royal was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district with borough status in Cheshire, England. It contained the towns of Northwich, Winsford and Frodsham.-Creation:...

 (Borough)
1. Cheshire West and Chester
Cheshire West and Chester
Cheshire West and Chester is a unitary authority area with borough status, in the ceremonial county of Cheshire. It was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health...


2. Cheshire East
Cheshire East
Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England.The borough was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in...

3. Warrington
Warrington
Warrington is a town, borough and unitary authority area of Cheshire, England. It stands on the banks of the River Mersey, which is tidal to the west of the weir at Howley. It lies 16 miles east of Liverpool, 19 miles west of Manchester and 8 miles south of St Helens...


4. Halton
Halton (borough)
Halton is a local government district in North West England, with borough status and administered by a unitary authority. It was created in 1974 as a district of Cheshire, and became a unitary authority area on 1 April 1998. It consists of the towns of Widnes and Runcorn and the civil parishes of...



‡ existing district

Further changes


The Boundary Committee for England
Boundary Committee for England
The Boundary Committee for England was a statutory committee of the Electoral Commission, an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. The Committee’s aim was to conduct thorough, consultative and robust reviews of local government areas in England, and for its recommendations to be...

 has completed its structural reviews for Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

, Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

 and Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

.

Initial draft proposals were published in July 2008. The committee was expected to make final recommendations by 31 December 2008, but these were delayed, due to legal challenges ,; and because they didn't assess the potential new authorities in proposals which would have split up the counties between two or more unitaries in aggregate. As a result a further set of draft proposals were published in March 2009:

Draft Proposals for Devon


The further draft recommendations propose two unitary options:
  • A Devon unitary authority comprising the existing county of Devon, with no changes to Plymouth
    Plymouth
    Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

     and Torbay
    Torbay
    Torbay is an east-facing bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south-west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Part of the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on 1 April 1998...

    .
  • An Exeter
    Exeter
    Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...

     and Exmouth
    Exmouth
    Exmouth is a town in Devon. It may also refer to:Places*Exmouth Peninsula in Southern Chile*Exmouth, Western AustraliaPeople*Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth , a British naval officerShips...

     unitary authority, and a unitary authority covering the remainder of Devon, with no changes to Plymouth and Torbay.

Draft Proposals for Norfolk


The further draft recommendations propose two unitary options:
  • A single Norfolk unitary authority comprising the existing county of Norfolk.
  • A two authority structure with greater Norwich
    Norwich
    Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

     unitary authority and a rural Norfolk unitary authority for the rest of the county.

Draft Proposals for Suffolk


The further draft recommendations propose two unitary options:
  • A single Suffolk unitary authority comprising the existing county of Suffolk.
  • A two authority structure with a North Haven unitary authority consisting of Ipswich
    Ipswich
    Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

     and Felixstowe
    Felixstowe
    Felixstowe is a seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is owned by Hutchinson Ports UK...

    , and a rural Suffolk unitary authority for the rest of the county.

Final Recommendations


Final recommendations were then due in July 2009.; but a successful legal challenge from three District Councils in Suffolk wanting a three unitary model for Suffolk to be considered by the committee resulted in a further delay. The Boundary Committee appealed this decision in favour of Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury & Waveney Councils in October 2009; in December (2009) they found out their appeal had been successful.

The Boundary Committee has now submitted its final recommendations to the Secretary of State. In all three counties the committee has stated that its preferred option is for a countywide unitary covering the whole of the exisitng two-tier area to be implemented. In addition in relation to Suffolk they have stated they have no major reservations about the two unitary pattern of North Haven & Rural Suffolk being adopted. Interested parties had until 19 January 2010 to make their representations to the Secretary of State.

Decision on reform


On 10 February 2010, Rosie Winterton
Rosie Winterton
Rosalie "Rosie" Winterton is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Doncaster Central since 1997. Formerly a minister within both the Blair and Brown Governments, she first entered the Shadow Cabinet in May 2010 as the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons...

, Minister of State for Local Government, announced the proposed final decisions on the unitary proposals:
  • Norwich to become a unitary authority, the remainder of Norfolk to retain two-tier structure due to lack of support for change.
  • Exeter to become a unitary authority, the remainder of Devon to retain two-tier structure, again due to lack of support locally. The boundaries of Exeter are to remain unchanged.
  • Suffolk to be divided into unitary authority areas, the boundaries of which will be decided by a countywide convention.


The changes in Devon/Exeter and Norfolk/Norwich were to come into effect in April 2011, subject to judicial review. Draft structural changes orders were approved by the House of Lords on 22 March 2010, though the Lords took the unusual step of formally noting its regret. The amendments did not alter the draft orders or affect the legal validity of the Lords approval. The House of Commons approved the draft orders on 23 March. The final Exeter and Norwich orders were made on 24 March following a Government statement responding to the Lords vote. However, the orders were quashed in a judicial review causing elections to be held in Exeter and Norwich in September 2010.

Cancellation of further structural changes



The Queen's Speech at the May 2010 State Opening of Parliament
State Opening of Parliament
In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event that marks the commencement of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is held in the House of Lords Chamber, usually in November or December or, in a general election year, when the new Parliament first assembles...

included a Local Government Bill to revoke structural change orders that would have established Exeter and Norwich as unitary authorities and prevent the implementation of the Suffolk unitary proposals. The bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 27 May 2010.

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