Unitary invitation in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2020 | 09 October 2020

Today the Secretary of State for Local Government has invited councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset to submit unitary proposals for their areas.

Following the announcement, CCN has welcomed the statement by Robert Jenrick which can be viewed here. Earlier this year, CCN published comprehensive independent research exploring the potential benefits of different unitary scenarios by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which can be viewed  here.

Below, the CCN chairman responds to the developments;

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“The County Councils Network welcomes the announcement by the Secretary of State that Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset have been invited to submit unitary proposals.

“Over the coming months we will work closely with these councils as they develop business cases to submit to government for consideration. Our research with PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year showed that there is a compelling case supporting their proposals for the establishment of single unitary authorities in their areas, with this model maximising the financial and economic benefits of reform, while retaining local identity across credible geographies.  

“This announcement is an important first step towards greater devolution in shire counties. We look forward to working with ministers as they finalise the Devolution White Paper, and we remain committed to supporting all our councils wishing to explore unitary governance, alongside alternative reforms, as outlined in the Secretary of State’s statement.”

Notes to editor

  • The County Councils Network is the national voice for England’s county councils. It represents all 25 county councils and 11 county unitary authorities. Collectively, they represent 26 million people, or 47% of the country’s population. For more information click here: countycouncilsnetwork.org.uk.
  • The study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows merging district and county councils in each area into a single unitary council could save £2.94bn over five years national. The report, published in August 2020, can be found here.