The review is to start on 13 December and will be carried out on the basis of new guidance issued by the Government on 30 November. The Government is still considering the Commission's recommendations for Cleveland.
In a written reply to a Parliamentary Question from Angela Knight MP (Erewash), Mr Gummer said: 'I have today written to Sir John Banham, Chairman of the Local Government Commission, about the Commission's reports, 'Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Derbyshire' and 'Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Cleveland and Durham'.
'Having considered the Commission's recommendations for Derbyshire and County Durham, together with representations made to me, I am not at present satisfied that the proposals in respect of those areas meet the criteria in section 13(5) of the Local Government Act 1992. I am still considering the Commission's recommendations for Cleveland. I have therefore, under section 15(6) of the Local Government Act 1992, directed the Commission to conduct further reviews of Derbyshire and County Durham, having regard to the revised policy and procedure guidance issued to it on 2 November and 22 November respectively.
'These two reviews were conducted in accordance with the original policy guidance which I issued to the Commission in July 1992. The revised policy guidance which I issued on 2 November clarified the Government's views on a number of issues, including unitary authorities and the importance of local consensus. Representations have been made to me by local authorities in Derbyshire and Durham that they should be given the opportunity to make fresh proposals on the basis of the new guidance. I consider that the local authorities and people of these areas ought to be given that chance.