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BEDFORDSHIRE OPTS FOR SINGLE UNITARY AUTHORITY STRUCTURE

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Bedfordshire county council's policy and resources committee will be told that a future single unitary authority is...
Bedfordshire county council's policy and resources committee will be told that a future single unitary authority is the preferred option, when it meets on October 5.

A select panel of councillors, meeting to oversee the county's position in relation to the local government review, has decided the unitary authority, based on the present county boundary, and with a population of 530,000, would be the most beneficial and cost effective option.

It is believed this option would receive support from the whole Bedfordshire community and from business and commerce and would provide a sound base for local government into the next century.

The select panel considered the only other option worthy of consideration would be two unitary authorities for Bedfordshire, one based on an amalgamation of the present North, Mid and South Beds districts (with a population of about 357,000) and the other based on Luton with its present boundaries (with a population of 174,000).

A single unitary authority would result in ongoing cost savings of £5.8m per year, against annual cost savings of £2.7m for the two unitary authority option, says Bedfordshire CC.
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