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Unitary boundary deadline delayed

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The government has pushed back the deadline for the Boundary Committee to decide on the structures of new unitary councils in Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The committee had been due to deliver its verdict by Friday.

However, in the wake of East Devon DC appealing against a high court ruling backing Devon’s bid to become a single county unitary, the Department for Communities & Local Government told LGCplus the deadline had been extended to 15 July.

“The Boundary Committee is charged with giving proposals to ministers which are properly developed, but they need to do this as rapidly as they can, so that the current uncertainty about the future is kept to a minimum,” local government minister John Healey said.

“It is this balance we have struck in agreeing the July deadline for the Boundary Committee to meet“.

The announcement was met with mixed responses from the councils involved.

Devon CC leader Brian Greenslade (Lib Dem) criticised the delay. “In the current economic climate, the continued uncertainty is unhelpful and we need to find an early resolution,” he said.

Devon CC website report

However, a spokesman for Norwich City Council - which has campaigned for an alternative to the proposed Norfolk county unitary based on an expanded Greater Norwich - welcomed the extended timescale, claiming it would help the city come through the recession.

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