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'The boundaries of the four proposed unitary authorities, which I intend to establish in April 1995, correspond to ...
'The boundaries of the four proposed unitary authorities, which I intend to establish in April 1995, correspond to those of the existing district councils.

Where the boundaries of unitary authorities and existing authorities coincide in this way I propose as a general rule to consult the local authorities concerned about the desirability of holding elections for the whole council in the May preceding the 1 April reorganisation date.

'Accordingly I am now consulting the majority and minority groups on each district council, and Cleveland County council, to seek their views about whether or not elections should be held in May 1994. I will make a further announcement about the outcome of that consultation.

'An order giving effect to the Commission's recommendations for Cleveland, with the aforementioned modifications, will be laid before the House in due course. A copy of my letter to Sir John Banham has been placed in the library. In summary, the commission's recommendations for Cleveland were: that Cleveland should be abolished and four unitary authorities established on the boundaries of the existing district councils - Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Langbaurgh-on-Tees (to be renamed Redcar and Cleveland).

It recommended that the county area be returned to the historic counties of Durham (North of the River Tees) and Yorkshire (South of the Tees). Final decision deferred pending decisions on County Durham and North Yorkshire.

It also recommended that combined authorities should be established in the present Cleveland county area for police and fire services, and that the four unitary authorities should maintain separate local plans and a joint structure plan.

The commission reported on Cleveland and Durham together. However, on 29 November 1993 the Secretary of State directed the Commission to carry out a further review of County Durham. The Commission's final report on Durham is due by the end of October - The full text of Mr Gummer's letter to Sir John is given in a separate LGCNet report.

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