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NORTHERN DISTRICTS WELCOME MORI POLL OPPOSING UNITARY AUTHORITIES

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The leaders of four district councils - Hartlepool, Langbaurgh on Tees, Stockton on Tees and Middlesbrough - welcom...
The leaders of four district councils - Hartlepool, Langbaurgh on Tees, Stockton on Tees and Middlesbrough - welcomed the MORI poll on local government reorganisation.

The poll shows that 39 per cent of people in the area support a district-based solution, against just seven per cent for the Teesside/Hartlepool split advocated by Cleveland county council.

Bob Gibson, chairman of the local branch of the Association of District Councils and leader of Stockton Council, said: 'The poll is further, emphatic proof that the future of local government lies with all-purpose district councils which are close to the community and can deliver cost-effective services. 'There is little enthusiasm for a county-wide authority and still less for the Teesside/Hartlepool split advocated by Cleveland county council,' he said.

Cllr Gibson criticised Cleveland for 'putting a wholly specious interpretation on the figures to claim their support is greater than it actually is'.

'I and all my colleagues in the districts would now ask the county council to accept the unequivocal case for all-purpose district councils and call on them to work with us to provide those authorities with the best possible start for the good of all local people and the essential services on which they depend,' he said.
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