Council leaders have welcomed the year-long delay to plans to create two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire.
The new councils will align transport, housing and environment services and be responsible for education and skills.
Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire
Proposals from local government secretary James Brokenshire had envisaged the new councils being fully operational from 1 April 2020 but the unitaries will now not be established until April 2021.
A joint statement from the leaders of the eight councils that will be abolished said the delay ‘gives us more time to plan carefully and confidently for the future’.
It read: ‘We have been working hard towards an anticipated 2020 vesting day but that was always going to be a tight timetable to meet if we were going to transform services as well as ensuring that they were safe and legal on that date.’
In a written Parliamentary statement, Mr Brokenshire said: ‘While I recognise that a delay in implementation will mean potential savings estimated in the proposal will not be realised for another year I am clear that the extended implementation period means we can be confident that there will be a safe and effective transition to all the new service delivery arrangements across the whole of the area.’
The proposal is to replace the county council and seven district councils with two new unitary councils - one for North Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Kettering, Corby, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, and the other for West Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire.
Last month two new unitary authorities were formed in Dorset following the merger of nine district and county councils.
Dorset County Council and the former East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset councils formed a new Dorset Council.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils were combined to form a single Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.
This article first appeared on themj.co.uk.