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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Mixed views to city's unitary bid
Exeter
Exeter's move is supported by all political parties on the council
Most Exeter residents would favour the city becoming a unitary authority, a survey has found.

Devon County Council commissioned two surveys to gauge reaction in Exeter and Devon to the city's unitary bid.

Power Marketing's street survey found 54% of Exeter residents said they would be better off with a city-wide council, 26% did not and 26% had no view.

But 79% of residents said they did not care who provided local services, as long as they were delivered.

The city was one of 16 local authorities which made it on to a government shortlist for the status.

'Worse off'

Power Marketing questioned 1,068 Exeter residents and BMG Research conducted a telephone poll of 1,000 people across Devon, as part of Devon County Council's response to the Government about Exeter's bid.

The BMG poll found 45% of Devon residents questioned did not see the need for a separate unitary council in Exeter.

Half of their respondents said the rest of Devon would be worse off if Exeter separated from Devon authorities.

A majority of people in both surveys said forming a new city-wide council would not be good use of money or resources.

Final decision

The surveys cost a total of 19,655.

Devon County Council has spent 87,486 investigating the unitary bid, while Exeter City Council has spent a reported 166,464 in preparing its case.

Devon County Council has said it was very disappointed that the county could be further broken up, as Plymouth and Torbay were also unitary authorities.

Exeter said unitary status would avoid duplication that existed through sharing power with the county council.

The bid is now to undergo government consultation. A final decision is expected in July.


SEE ALSO
Unitary status plan for councils
27 Mar 07 |  Somerset
Unitary council hopefuls unveiled
27 Mar 07 |  UK Politics

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