Talk:2009 structural changes to local government in England

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Charter Trustees[edit]

I've been looking at the five reorganisations definitely going ahead in 2009, and considering the consequences for city/borough status and the formation of charter trustees, particularly as Rochester lost its city status more-or-less accidentally in the 1990s. This is my understanding:

  • Cornwall: only one district has borough status: Restormel. This originated with Fowey in 1913 (although this was seen as a revival of the town's corporation which had not been reformed in 1832). In 1968 Fowey was merged with St Austell UD to become the borough of St Austell with Fowey, and this is the basis for the present borough's charter. There is now a Fowey Town council and parts (but not all) of St Austell are parished. Looks like there will be no trustees here.
  • County Durham: Durham's city status would presumably be preserved by charter trustees for the unparished area of the pre-1974 city. Sedgefield's borough status seems doomed: the entire district is parished, so the formation of trustees cannot happen.
  • Northumberland: Berwick upon Tweed is a borough, and presumably charter trustees will be formed for the area of the pre-1974 borough, still unparished. Blyth Valley is also a borough, and none of it is parished, so trustees could be formed. The other borough is Castle Morpeth, who obtained their borough status via Morpeth. The latter now has a town council so there would be no trustees. The borough of Morpeth had the earliest grant of arms (as opposed to confirmation) of any civic body, and these arms were transferred to Castle Morpeth Borough Council in the 1970s. Hopefully, they will be reclaimed by the town council by royal licence.
  • Wiltshire: there are already charter trustees for the City of Salisbury. None of the merging districts are boroughs, so this won't change.

Lozleader (talk) 15:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The "Successful proposals" section should probably go into a table with a list of the districts being abolished and their current status. MRSCTalk 17:35, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Cheshire, Bedfordshire (compared with Berkshire)[edit]

According the draft orders Cheshire and Bedfordshire will be abolished as non-metropolitan counties (unlike the approach taken in Berkshire in the 1990s). They will of course continue to be lieutenancy areas. MRSCTalk 13:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Surely it's only the county councils which are being abolished. There will still be a Bedfordshire and a Cheshire after 1 May 2009, just as there was a Bedfordshire and a Cheshire before 1889 when the county councils were created. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.194.86.1 (talk) 13:31, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Nope, the non-metropolitan counties of Cheshire and Bedfordshire are to be abolished. The counties will of course continue to exist as Ceremonial counties of England. David (talk) 00:23, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Abolishing only the county councils was the approach taken by the Conservatives with Greater London, the six metropolitan counties and Berkshire. For Avon, Hereford & Worcester, Cleveland and Humberside they abolished both the ceremonial and non-metropolitan counties; and the county councils (i.e. abolished them for all purposes). The innovation with this series of reforms is that there will now be two ceremonial counties (Cheshire and Bedfordshire) that will not relate to a non-metropolitan county of the same name. MRSCTalk 13:58, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Which I believe is perfectly sensible. The future of counties in England is a system of ceremonial counties made up of one or more unitary authorities. That way the historic counties are more or less preserved in a geographic and ceremonial sense (with the ceremonial counties) and a more contemporary system of local government (the unitary authorities) exists below the level of ceremonial counties and fits in with that level too. I would say we are crossing the half way point on the way to achieving this. David (talk) 14:38, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

New article for 2011/2012 changes?[edit]

Now that a decision has been made in relation to Norfolk and Devon should we move the bulk of text under the "Further changes" heading to a new article (2011 structural changes to local government in England?) The Suffolk changes, when they are agreed, will presumably be in 2012 or later? Lozleader (talk) 13:50, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

What are the changes exactly? Just asking as a side issue so I can produce modified maps. --Jza84 |  Talk  14:16, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
It seems that Exeter and Norwich are becoming unitary, with the rest of Devon & Norfolk remaining as is. Despite earlier speculation/proposals Exeter's boundaries are to remain unchanged, according to the city council's website. There are refs on the article.Lozleader (talk) 14:23, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Or perhaps change this article to 2009–2011 structural changes to local government in England? MRSC (talk) 14:32, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I would be tempted to include any further changes to this article. Bleaney (talk) 16:53, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Good idea, a move and redirect would maximise the watchers. There's already been speculation that the government's decisions might be opposed by a judicial review, perhaps even after the statutory instruments are passed, so we should not rush to implement changes that remain judicially (and perhaps politically) uncertain.
On a distantly related point, what's our policy for updating links to parliamentary constituencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which change at the 2010 general election? For candidates, parties and voters, the new boundaries are already of more interest than the ones which legally remain in force until dissolution. Current usage of {{Infobox UK place | constituency_westminster=...}} seems to vary. There seems to be no neat way to indicate to readers whether we are referring to the old or new boundaries. In the worst case, where constituency names remain unchanged but boundary changes move a place from one constituency to another, not only do articles become incorrect, but even the linked constituency article may not indicate whether it applies to that place before, after, or regardless of, any boundary changes.
Richardguk (talk) 01:20, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I think that when the general election is called is the time to start updating the infoboxes. MRSC (talk) 15:54, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I've obtained the official Index of Place Names (as at December 2008) from ONS. Crucially, it links non-administrative "localities" (roughly, settlements with an Ordnance Survey name) to constituencies and administrative areas. Unfortunately, it uses 2005 constituency boundaries and does not link them to wards, so it won't easily connect article names with new constituencies. Am exploring the possibilities for updating various fields though.
Incidentally, you may have noticed that ONS published in June 2009 a new policy on Coding and Naming for Statistical Geographies. The codes are for use from January 2011 and are standardised as 9-character codes for almost all types of area (A = country, NN = area type, NNNNNN = entity; no re-use). Old-style ONS codes (mainly NNAA) are displayed in some local authority infoboxes but otherwise not widely used on Wikipedia (where plain-text names are the key to most things). But using codes would be one way to promote consistent naming as well as eliminating the current ambiguity where ward or constituency boundaries have moved and it becomes unclear whether an article is referring to the old or new area.
Richardguk (talk) 20:03, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
See {{London ward populations}} for a table I set up that can be called to give various data for ward codes. Perhaps something similar can be set up with the new codes. MRSC (talk) 20:37, 27 March 2010 (UTC)