The Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003 provides for referendums on whether to establish an elected assembly and for associated local government reviews on options for local government restructuring.
My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced in June 2003, following a soundings exercise, that the north-east, north-west, and Yorkshire and Humberside would be the first regions to progress towards holding a referendum for a regional assembly. Local government reviews are underway in these regions. When the Boundary Committee have presented their recommendations, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will lay orders in Parliament enabling referendums to take place.