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'ALL COUNTY COUNCILS TO BE ABOLISHED', INDEPENDENT REPORTS

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All 39 English county councils are to be abolished, the Independent reports (p1). It says that the abolition decisi...
All 39 English county councils are to be abolished, the Independent reports (p1). It says that the abolition decision was taken recently by ministers involved in the local government represents a major shift in policy.

The paper says that the abolition has been described by what one minister described as the biggest shake-up in local government since the Domesday Book.

Thousands of senior management jobs will be cut and millions of pounds of council properties left, the paper claims

Some counties had been expected to survive as unitary authorities but senior ministers are said to have told the Independent that this is no longer so. It notes that there is little political disadvantage in the government scrapping what were once bastions of Tory power as since the last local elections in may only Buckinghamshire is under Tory control.

Ministers are said to have pointed out that the meaning of policy guidance to the Local Government Commission this month has not been bully grasped as there is a crucial sentence saying that unitary authorities covering either a very large area or a very small population will need a specially strong justification.

The Association of County Councils reacted angrily to the news says the Independent and will discuss the policy shift with David Curry, minister for local government on Wednesday.

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