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Shake-up for local councils?

PUBLISHED: 09:40 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:39 05 July 2010

A further push towards a radical new local government structure for Norfolk, made up entirely of unitary all-purpose councils, will be made by the government today.

A further push towards a radical new local government structure for Norfolk, made up entirely of unitary all-purpose councils, will be made by the government today.

An announcement by local government minister John Healey could lead to the creation of a Greater Norwich council, and a 'Yartoft' local authority embracing Yarmouth and Lowestoft. But it could result in a unitary, beefed up, council covering the whole of the existing Norfolk county council area - including Norwich.

Mr Healey is also expected to remove remaining ambiguity and confusion about whether the two-tier status quo in the county can survive.

Terms of reference for the Boundary Committee's review of the county structure will provide only for unitary alternatives to the present arrangements.

The status quo is an option that will come into play only if the committee concludes it is unable to propose a unitary alternative to the existing set-up - and it has not had that problem in looking at other parts of the country.

Mr Healey is expected to confirm a timetable by which a Greater Norwich authority, including suburban areas outside the existing city boundaries, could be up and running by the spring of 2010. A cross-county Yartoft council covering all or parts of the existing Yarmouth and Waveney council areas could come into existence at the same time.

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