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HISTORIC TOWNS ARE UNFAIRLY PENALISED, CLAIMS ADC

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The Local Government Commission's latest recommendations penalise historic county towns, the Association of Distric...
The Local Government Commission's latest recommendations penalise historic county towns, the Association of District Councils has claimed.

The ADC said it was delighted with the recommendations for unitary status which the commission has made but said it was wrong to leave out Exeter, Gloucester and Norwich.

'Norwich and Exeter have a history of 1,000 years' self- rule between them, while Gloucester was self-governing from Roman times to 1974,' ADC chair Peter Greenwood said.

'It can only be that the Local Government Commission has succumbed to the myth that granting them unitary status would take the heart out of the surrounding county. That is nonsense.'

The Association of County Councils called on the commission to now submit its proposals to 'full and informed' local consultation. 'The key question to be asked in all the areas concerned is whether the case for changing local government structure has been made in the commission's proposals,' ACC chair Baroness Farrington said.

'Unless unitary structures can be shown to be clearly better than the existing two-tier arrangement in delivering improved services at lower cost, they should not be proceeded with.'

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