Derbyshire split points way for local government

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Indy Politics
DERBYSHIRE will be split into two unitary authorities - one for the city of Derby and another for the county - under plans being considered by the Local Government Commission, writes Ngaio Crequer.

The commission was due to announce this preference, or its second choice of three unitary authorities, next Monday. But divisions in the independent commission have delayed the announcement until 17 May.

Derbyshire is the first significant area under review in the biggest change in local government in 20 years. What happens to the county may been seen as a signpost in the rolling programme of change envisaged for local government.

According to confidential documents received by the Independent, the commissioners' first preference is for the two authorities. Their second choice is three unitary authorities: Derby city on current boundaries; north-east Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Bolsover; and the remaining five districts being merged into one authority. The commission has to consult on any proposals it brings forward.

The proposals are expected to anger districts, who will claim that they ignore local communities and create large authorities that are remote.