Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Lords approve unitary authority for Norwich and Exeter

The Bishop of Norwich

There was vigorous debate before the measure was voted through

Plans for new "super councils" in Norwich and Exeter have moved a step closer with the House of Lords approving the plan.

Peers approved the proposal by 64 to make the cities unitary authorities.

These new councils would take over the running of schools, roads and social services from the county councils.

During the debate the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, spoke against the plan saying: "The people of Norfolk and Norwich deserve better".

He told the Lords: "The process has been so mishandled; you'd have thought the Boundary Committee and the government wanted to ensure as much dissention as possible and to build tension between the city and the county."

The Conservatives have said they will overturn the restructuring decisions if they win the general election.

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Communities and Local Government Parliament gives unitary status to Exeter and Norwich - 7 hrs ago
EDP 24 Call to bury differences over Norwich unitary - 11 hrs ago
This is Cornwall Tory peers under fire over Exeter unitary change - 19 hrs ago
Exmouth Journal Exeter unitary backed - 28 hrs ago
Galloway Gazette Plan for two cities still being considered - 35 hrs ago

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