NW minister seeks reassurance on Cheshire council split

Minister for the North West, Beverley Hughes, met with Cheshire's council leaders this week to here whether plans for two new unitary councils were on track.

The county council and six district councils will be replaced by Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East from 1 April.

The restructuring of workforces and office locations is still underway and developers say a freeze on planning decision-making has existed for months while officers keep their heads down, fearing for their jobs.

Hughes also discussed the impact of the economic downturn on the county. While no details of the discussions were released, Hughes did say in a statement: "I was particularly keen to speak to the Cheshire Authorities because of the impact of the credit crunch on the financial services and property sectors which are key parts of the economy in the county.

"Cheshire also faces additional challenges because of the local government reorganisation with the introduction of two unitary authorities and I wanted reassurance that this would not lead to them taking their eye off the ball with respect to the economic well being and growth of the county. I will be working closely with them on this matter in the coming months."

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