Cornwall's move to unitary status has been approved by Parliament.
The unitary authorities' responsibilities include education
It was named as one of five county and district councils nationally which will be replaced by "flagship" all-purpose authorities.
The unitary authorities will be responsible for roads and education, as well as leisure, environmental health and housing.
Cornwall County Council said the status could eventually save taxpayers about £17m a year.
Elections will take place in May for the new councils in Northumberland and County Durham and in May 2009 for Cornwall, Shropshire and Wiltshire.
Local Government Minister John Healey said it was a "pivotal moment" for the new authorities, where the delivery of better services and greater involvement of local people would take centre stage.
"Now it is time to move on from past debates and discussions about restructuring," he said.