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BOUNDARY COMMITTEE COMES IN AHEAD OF TIME FOR REORGANISATION

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The Boundary Committee for England has all but finalised recommendations for local government reorganisation in the...
The Boundary Committee for England has all but finalised recommendations for local government reorganisation in the North - nearly a month ahead of deadline.

Chair Pamela Gordon confirmed committee staff have started drafting the reports she will present to deputy prime minister John Prescott on 25 May.

But both she and president Archie Gall were keeping tight-lipped about their contents.

The reports will contain at least two recommendations for unitary reorganisation in the six two-tier areas under review, which will be put to voters alongside referendums on elected regional assemblies in October.

Mrs Gordon said: 'We have made a number of decisions. There are some recommendations we are likely to make that are stronger than others.'

Problematic areas include Lancashire, where the majority of districts rejected the committee's draft options published last December, and North Yorkshire.

Mr Gall said some councils would be happier than others with the proposals.

He said: 'I think it will be a mixed reaction. You're not going to please everyone all of the time.'

According to the ODPM, reorganisation will only proceed in the north-east, north-west or Yorkshire and the Humber on the back of 'yes' votes for regional government.

However speculation persists that the government will push through the committee's most popular proposals even if voters reject regional assemblies.

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