To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reorganisation of local government on the provision of (a) children's care and (b) education services.
10 March 2021
In October 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) invited local areas to submit proposals for reorganising local government in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset. In December 2020, MHCLG received four proposals for Cumbria, two for North Yorkshire and two for Somerset. These proposals are currently being consulted on, and MHCLG are planning for a decision on the final outcome of the proposals received to be made by summer 2021.
The government will assess each proposal on its respective merits and the Department for Education will be contributing its assessment of the impact on children’s services and education to MHCLG’s overall assessment. Each proposal will be assessed against three criteria, which are: whether the proposal would improve local government and service delivery across the area of the proposal; how much local support it commands across the area of the proposal; and whether the area of any new unitary council would cover a credible geography. All of these proposals will be considered after the consultation and before a decision is made on which option, if any, to implement. The eventual decision would also be subject to Parliamentary approval.