Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 11:34 UK

New unitary council starts work

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More than 22,000 people will work for Cornwall Council

Cornwall's new "super council" has begun its work.

Cornwall Council, as the new unitary authority will be known, is replacing six borough and district councils, as well as the existing county council.

It will have an annual budget of nearly £440m and a staff of more than 22,000, making it the biggest single employer in the county.

It is hoped the unified and streamlined council will provide millions of pounds in efficiency savings.

Staff assimilation

However, the move is costing 225 jobs among workers from the former authorities and some staff from old councils have been told there is still no certainty they will be moving to work at the new authority.

The new council's chief executive, Kevin Lavery, said: "We had to go live legally today and we've been working as fast as possible to assimilate staff into the new organisation.

"We're going through a very big reorganisation to bring the organisation into one and we will sort it out over the next two months."

Elections for new the authority's 123 wards will be held on 4 June.

In the meantime, the Implementation Executive - which is composed of 24 councillors from the former county, borough and district authorities, which has been overseeing the transition - will remain in place to make any necessary decisions until the new councillors are elected.

The go-ahead for the changeover for unitary status was given in July 2007.

Kevin Lavery said he was confident the public would "hardly notice the difference" when the new administration took over all services.

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SEE ALSO
Date set for 'super council' vote
20 Feb 09 |  Cornwall
Tax increases for 'super council'
17 Feb 09 |  Cornwall
Job cuts plan at merged council
17 Feb 09 |  Cornwall
Unitary voters told to register
31 Aug 08 |  Cornwall

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