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Analysis: Survival-focused Cabinet set to put reorganisation on hold

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With the minority Conservative government vulnerable to backbench revolts, potentially politically complex reorganisation looks likely to be placed far down the list of priorities in the short term at least.

Before the election, Local Government Association chair Lord Porter (Con) told LGC Theresa May would need a Commons majority of at least 50 seats to get proposals through.

MPs have always been significant players in reorganisation bids but they are not set to become pivotal as the government anxiously balances backbench interests.

A recent intervention by sceptical Christchurch MP Chrisopher Chope (Con) was said to have led to a decision being delayed on the ‘Future Dorset’ proposal.

Lord Porter said reorganisation is now very much “off the table” as it is too “politically toxic” to dela with.

Despite communities secretary Sajid Javid’s backing for reorganisation, including praise for Buckinghamshire’s single unitary proposal, few expect him to be able to elevate the agenda.

Policy survival rating: 3/10

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It may lead to the agreement of a clear and consistent framework for local government reorganisation - to everyone's benefit.

    However, the big risk remains that all difficult decisions are avoided - such as this - despite the fact that it could cost the country £3bn of potential savings. Similarly, not evaluating and refocusing the budget for universal free school meals for infants will cost £4bn (for good or ill). But already the existence of a minority government could have cost taxpayers £7bn.

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