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Durham Districts bite back

Date 11 May 2007
Author The Editor
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District Councils in County Durham have announced that they are all opposed to plans to introduce a single unitary council for the county. The Government is consulting on the planned changes that will abolish all local District Councils and Durham County Council and establish a single large unitary council for the whole of County Durham.

The Government’s consultation programme invites views from key stakeholders on the proposed overhaul, but the District Councils want the public’s view as well. To provide members of the public with an opportunity to have their say, the Districts Councils have engaged the independent Electoral Reform Services to carry out a referendum among all electors in the County.

Alan Napier, Leader of the Easington District Council and representing all seven district councils, said: “The Durham District Councils have taken the decision to hold a referendum to ensure residents have the opportunity to have their views heard on what could mean major changes for their local services and communities.

“The Local Government Bill focuses on empowering local people and devolving services closer to our communities, but the very people this will impact upon are not to be consulted about the plan for a single unitary council for County Durham. “This is the public’s chance to have their say on a single countywide council and the District Councils urge all residents across County Durham to take part in the Referendum.”

The Referendum will run from 24 May until 14 June. The results will form part of the Durham Districts’ response to the Government’s consultation programme and will be passed on to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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