MP is 'frustrated' over delays on the decision for a unitary Devon

PUBLISHED: 11:42 10 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:45 14 April 2010

EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire said he is frustrated that there is yet another delay to the Boundary Committee s decision on the future unitary status of Devon. Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has now given the Bound

EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire said he is frustrated that there is yet another delay to the Boundary Committee's decision on the future unitary status of Devon.

Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has now given the Boundary Committee until 15 July to complete its research and report to her on what it believes to be the most cost-effective and democratic change to local government in the county- a five month extension.

Mr Swire said: "These series of delays are simply leading to confusion and uncertainty. This is in nobody's interests, and makes planning for the future extremely difficult.

"How can district councils or indeed the County Council make long-term decisions if they don't even know whether they will exist this time next year? And are people now being invited to vote in the 7 May local elections for an authority which might subsequently be disbanded?

"I am trying to take a delegation of Devon MPs who are against the proposed changes, to see Hazel Blears MP but she has refused to see us until after the Boundary Committee has submitted their advice.

"The Boundary Committee should originally have submitted their advice at the end of December, this was delayed until 13 February and now we are told that the announcement will be delayed once again until July. The proximity to the summer recess will make a meeting at that time virtually impossible. Now that the date has been postponed yet again the Secretary of State must see us to listen to our views."

Mr Swire added "Quite clearly Mr Justice Cranston believes that there are very serious questions to be answered which justify East Devon District Council's decision to take the Boundary Committee to judicial review.

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