Local Government Reorganisation (Somerset)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:02 pm on 28th November 2006.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 9:02 pm, 28th November 2006

I fear that the hon. Gentleman is falling into one of the common misapprehensions of this process, if it proceeds, which is that if the decision were to be for a unitary county, the county council, in its present form, would take on district functions—or vice versa, the district council would take on county council functions. The fact is that there would be a new authority, based on new boundaries, with new wards, new structures and—I would certainly expect—rather more councillors than the current county council, but perhaps fewer than the combination of the county council and the district council. That might be to everybody's benefit.