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Local Government: Reorganisation

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 67820, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate his Department has made of the potential savings generated from local authorities adopting unitary status.

Answered on

10 July 2020

We believe areas moving to unitary status with more sustainable and efficient councils can have significant benefits for local people and businesses, including improved and more affordable local services, stronger and more accountable local leadership, and by removing a layer of governance enabling town and parish councils and local communities to be genuinely empowered.

Ernst & Young’s 2016 [1] study of the two-tier councils in England estimated that each existing two-tier county area moving to a single unitary could produce annual savings (post implementation costs) approaching £30 million. A number of areas are now talking to us about unitarisation and are estimating annual savings of some £50 million.

[1] Independent Analysis of Governance Scenarios and Public Service Reform in County Areas, EY, September 2016.