There have been more losers than winners, like a national lottery, as big towns and historic county boroughs with centuries of self-government behind them were denied - like Gloucester today - the unitary status they have sought.
In its last batch of final recommendations, covering Cornwall, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire (where most of the ten district councils backed unitary solutions as did 67% of local people who expressed a preference) and Shropshire, the commission has proposed just one new unitary council - the city of Derby.
The Wrekin has been denied unitary status despite 60% local support in a recent MORI poll, and despite the commission's own view in draft proposals that 'there is a distinctive division within the county' between it and the rest of Shropshire.
ADC chair Margaret Singh said: 'Millions of people in Scotland, Wales and most of England will have one council instead of two running all their local services - why should that benefit be denied so many more people in the shires? It doesn't make sense.'