To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what procedures are in place for those current two-tier local authority areas which wish to reorganise themselves.
With the enactment of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, the procedures for two tier local authorities wishing to reorganise themselves are for one or more of the councils concerned to submit a proposal for a reorganised structure to the Secretary of State who must consider it.
As I told the House on 28 February 2017 (PQ 65271) the criteria for assessing such proposals is whether the proposal, if implemented, is likely to improve the area's local government, commands a good deal of local support in the area, and whether the area itself is a credible geography for the proposed new structure. Having considered such a proposal, the Secretary of State will announce whether or not he is minded, subject to Parliamentary approval, to implement it.
After a period during which those interested may make representations to the Secretary of State, he will then take his final decision and invite Parliament to approve the secondary legislation necessary to implement the proposal where this is his decision.