Briefing papers obtained by LGC in July revealed that the government was proposing to hand back powers to selected London and metropolitan boroughs (LGC, 8 July).
The government laid down nine criteria for boroughs to meet before qualifying. On this basis seven councils were identified. London boroughs had to meet seven of the criteria and mets would have to meet four (LGC, 15 July).
District and county councils were originally ruled out of the scheme because of the review.
But in response to a parliamentary question from Jack Straw, originally tabled in July and published last week, the government identifies which councils meet the nine criteria required for 'trust council' status.
Applying the same qualifying threshold for mets to district councils means a total of 216 authorities would qualify. The data also suggests that four more metropolitan councils would qualify.
Mets that would qualify are: Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Wigan, St Helens, Rotherham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sunderland, Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Top 13 districts which meet six or more of the criteria are: Derby City, Mid Bedfordshire, Bracknell, Hartlepool, Exeter, New Forest, Stevenage, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, Hambleton, Cherwell, St Edmundsbury, Babergh, and Spelthorne.