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DISTRICTS FORECAST 'GOOD RETURN ON SMALL INVESTMENT'

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Millions more people are set to benefit from potential improvements and savings if their local councils are given t...
Millions more people are set to benefit from potential improvements and savings if their local councils are given the power to run all local services, districts seeking self-governing status say.

Financial predictions presented by 21 councils, serving almost two million people to the local government commission add up to 'good news for local tax payers', according to the Association of District Councils.

A spokesman for the association said:

'People will not pay a high price for the change from two-tier to more effective, efficient, accountable and local councils, as relatively small one-off transitional costs will be financed by borrowing - with repayments spread over seven years.

'The figures show that long-term savings to county councils, running into millions of pounds in areas under review, far outweigh the added costs of creating 'one for all' local authorities.

'In just five of the county areas affected, for example, setting up six unitary districts would save £400,000 according to districts' estimates.'

The ADC say that they expect the commission to confirm the figures when it publishes draft proposals at the end of September.

They add that the news could be even better for council tax payers as new single-tier authorities set about achieving potential extra savings, through more efficient service delivery helped by bringing everything under one roof.

Most of the districts involved in the latest round of reviews predict financial benefits as a result of uniting related services currently operated by different councils.

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