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Unitaries deemed 'simplistic'

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District councils’ bid to split Cheshire into two unitary authorities has been slammed in a new report.

City regions, county regions and sub-national governance, by Salford University’s Centre for Sustainable Urban Regional Futures and commissioned by Cheshire CC, recommends a ‘county region’ approach to pursue economic growth.

A key part of the two- unitaries option is for the new City of Chester, west Cheshire council and the new east Cheshire council to be associated with the Merseyside and Greater Manchester city regions respectively.

But the report says linking arguments about economic development to issues of democratic accountability and local government reorganisation should be avoided.

The evidence suggesting the new authorities will fit well with the two city regions “shows a simplistic and partial understanding of economic relational thinking,” it says.

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