Cheshire council split ‘will save millions’

The creation of two new unitary authorities for east and west Cheshire from next April will bring estimated annual savings of £16.3m, according to the local government minister John Healey.

The new Cheshire councils are part of the biggest national shake-up of local government for 30 years, with 44 councils across 7 counties being replaced by unitary authorities.

The Government said the combined £100m of savings "can be re-invested in front-line services or used to reduce pressure on council tax."

In Cheshire, the new Cheshire East will replace half of Cheshire County Council and the boroughs of Macclesfield, Crewe & Nantwich and Congleton. Cheshire West & Chester will replace the remainder of Cheshire and Vale Royal, Ellesmere Port & Neston and Chester.

The cost-savings are still being worked out in Cheshire with 500 out of 3,000 staff expected to lose their jobs. The premises for the new councils is still to be decided, also. West is likely to be based in temporary offices in Chester for the time being, with East split between several sites in Crewe, Macclesfield and Sandbach.

Other councils included in the restructuring include Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire.

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