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The government's reorganisation of council structure is set to lose the Conservatives control of six councils in En...
The government's reorganisation of council structure is set to lose the Conservatives control of six councils in England, the one council they hold in Wales and up to four of the five they run in Scotland.

But the main victims of the changes are Labour, which stands to lose 29 authorities, and Independents (down 24).

Labour is set to make a net loss of up to 24 councils in Scotland and Wales, but this is largely a reflection of the party's current strength in these countries. In England, Labour is set to lose five - including the flagship councils of York and Brighton.

These forecasts are made in an LGC analysis - based on current voting patterns - of the Local Government Commission's final recommendations for England and the government's proposals for Scotland and Wales.

The analysis, contained in Review Focus 3, also shows that possible savings from the review have been sharply curtailed by commission proposals for hybrid counties. These would keep their county councils but have unitaries set up to run the biggest cities.

After taking into account the government's rejection of five of its unitary suggestions, the costs and savings produced by the commission show that any savings resulting from its recommendations could take more than 40 years to be realised.

The commission confirmed on Wednesday that none of the last five county councils to be reviewed should be abolished and that only Derby City Council should become a unitary council.

All parties will lose councils as the reorganisation cuts the number of counties, regions and districts.

The Liberal Democrats are poised to win control of four counties - East Sussex, Hampshire, Devon and Wiltshire CCs - because the commission is recommending that Labour-voting cities should be removed from these counties.

Conservative MPs have also tended to support limited change. As one supporter of unitary districts said: 'I can't think of any county area other than Cheshire where any but a handful of Tory MPs support unitaries.'

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