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MILIBAND BACKS GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S UNITARY INTENTION

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David Miliband has endorsed Gloucestershire's local government moving towards a unitary system....
David Miliband has endorsed Gloucestershire's local government moving towards a unitary system.

The minister for communities and local government visited the county on Monday in his latest fact-finding mission, on his quest to gauge enthusiasm for a restructuring of councils in two-tier areas.

Although the leaders of the county council and the six districts are yet to come to any agreement on the desirability of change, two ideas are widely floated. Under one option Gloucestershire would become a unitary authority, while under the other the county would split into two unitary councils.

According to a senior figure at one of the councils, Mr Miliband was won over to the case for restructuring after his meetings with councillors, chief executives, partner organisations and members of the public.

The insider said: 'He concluded that change wasn't required because the existing system's broken, but that more could be done if the structures were different.

'He probably faces more of a challenge here than in some places - there's a defence of the status quo amongst a number of the players.'

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