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BANHAM OFFERS TO THINK AGAIN ON COMMISSIONS PROPOSALS

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Sir John Banham, chairman of the local government commission has left the door open for further consultation on Der...
Sir John Banham, chairman of the local government commission has left the door open for further consultation on Derbyshire, Cleveland and County Durhan, despite delivering final recommendations today.

In a letter to the environment secretary, John Gummer, this afternoon, Sir John says: 'If new joint proposals for unitary structures are now put forward in those areas where the Commission has recommended that the existing arrangements should remain, you may wish to invite the Commission to consider these even though our work in these areas is now completed.'

Replying local government minister, David Curry agreed: 'As you say there have been representations suggesting that the Commission should look again at Derbyshire and Durham in the light of the revised guidance, which places stronger emphasis on the benefits of unitary authorities. I welcome the Commission's preference for unitary solutions unless there is a very powerful case to the contrary and your willingness to consider new joint proposals which are put forward.'

Mr Curry said he would give a formal government response later in the light of the fact that the commission's work was under original guidance rather than under the revised guidance.
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