Derbyshire likely to be carved up for third time: Commission reviewing council structures urged to rethink

MINISTERS are to ask the Local Government Commission for England to have a third look at proposals for reorganising the council structure in Derbyshire.

The Government is anxious to avoid the only other alternative - to reject the commission's existing recommendations, thereby throwing the whole future of the local government review into disarray.

Derbyshire is the first test for the Government and the commission. An earlier recommendation for a single unitary authority, on the Isle of Wight, was accepted by all sides.

The Government is determined to see single unitary authorities replace the two-tier structure in rural Derbyshire. But the commission is insisting on its independence and says it will not put forward proposals which do not have the support of local opinion - hence its declaration in favour of the status quo for much of the county.

Lewis Rose, Conservative leader of the Derbyshire Dales district council, which opposes two-tier councils, aid last night that he and his colleagues were hoping to meet ministers soon. 'Whether we do it through the district councils, or through the (Tory) party is not yet resolved, but things will develop very quickly. My feeling is that the Government will refer it back. I cannot think what confusion and horror exists in the minds of the public over this.'

Last Monday, the commission published its final recommendations for Derbyshire: a unitary authority for the city of Derby, one for North East Derbyshire (including Chesterfield and Bolsover), and retention of the existing two-tier structure for the rest of the area. This was a change from its draft proposals in May, which suggested two authorities: one for the city of Derby and one for the rest.

But only hours after announcing the recommendations, Sir John Banham, the commission's chairman, wrote to John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, saying: 'If new joint proposals for unitary structures are now put forward in those areas where the commission has recommended that the existing arrangements should remain, you may wish to invite the commission to consider these even though our work in those areas is now complete.'

When questioned about this letter at the Association of County Councils meeting last week, Sir John said: 'It is not for me to comment on why ministers would ask me to write a letter.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Representative

£15500 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This international company deve...

Recruitment Genius: Field Service Engineer - Basingstoke / Reading Area

£16000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established name in IT Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced PPC Search Marketing Executive

£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue