A unitary council for Norwich has taken another significant step towards being created after the House of Lords rejected an attempt to vote down the government’s proposals.
The way is now expected to be cleared for a new council to run all services in the city from April 2011 after peers voted by 118 to 54 against a Liberal Democrat motion to throw out plans for unitaries in Norwich and Exeter.
A majority of peers approved the implementation orders for the new councils but did back an amendment by cross-bench peer Baroness Butler-Sloss regretting the process. The House of Commons is expected to formally approve the orders in a vote in the House of Commons later today. If this does happen, a unitary Norwich will be established in law in the coming days.
The new authority would provide all services for the city, including education, children’s services and adult social care within its existing boundary.
As soon as the orders are passed, we will begin work on establishing the new council through an implementation executive made up of city and county councillors who represent Norwich.
Councillor Steve Morphew, leader of the council, said: "This is an historic day for the great city of Norwich and for the people of Norfolk who we are determined will be beneficiaries and partners in the future success.
“A new council, focussed on the needs of the city, working in partnership with the county as equals will bring benefits to everyone. We look forward to working closely with county council colleagues to shape a successful future - and a new council that will provide first class services and value for money.”