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Parliament gives unitary status to Norwich and Exeter - UPDATE

Exeter City Council and Norwich City Council have been awarded unitary status and will be in charge of waste collection as well as disposal services.

The Government decided that a unitary structure for Exeter and Norwich will deliver joined-up services that promote greater value for money. The transition will take place from 1 April 2011.

Speaking to MRW, Exeter council head of waste services Mike Trim said: By becoming a unitary authority it will cause less confusion for residents as we will become responsible for waste collection and disposal. We are currently only responsible for waste collection.

For example, a resident may use a civic amenity (CA) site run by our partners at Devon County Council, but it runs alongside the border of our council. Residents will come to us to complain about something but we cannot deal with that inquiry we have to refer them on to our colleagues at the county council. By becoming a unitary authority, it will make it much clearer and cause far less confusion.

We will also oversee the management of all the CA sites. But we are still in discussion with Devon about the management of existing facilities, including a planned energy from waste plant.

Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton said: Local leaders know their area and their people best, and it is right that Exeter and Norwich city councils should lead the way on building their local economies and delivering jobs on behalf of the people they serve.

Strong decisive leadership is crucial as we move towards economic recovery. Now these unitary plans have been approved, we believe Exeter and Norwich, uniting together all the services in their area, will each make a far more potent economic force than the current status quo.

A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said:
In terms of the waste and recycling service, there will essentially be no change for residents. We are the collection authority at the moment, and will continue to be when unitary status comes in, so people's bins will still be emptied by us. As we will be taking on the responsibility of also being the disposal authority, more changes will obviously happen internally to accommodate this work. We have a strong working relationship with the relevant teams at Norfolk County Council, and will keep on working with them to get the best solutions for the city."

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