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Power to the people in north east

The rejection of a regional assembly by people in the North East is a thumbs up for the work of local authorities and the waste management services they provide, according to a key local authority figure.

Local authorities have done a brilliant job, said Local Authorities Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) North East representative Andrew Craig.

He added: Once Middlesborough rolls out its new scheme, every one of the North Easts 25 local authorities will provide multi-material kerbside collections. It will be the first region to have that.

A regional assembly would have added another layer of Government, with supporters saying it would take power away from Whitehall and give the region more control over issues such as transport and waste management.

However, 696,519 residents voted against the assembly, compared to 197,310 who were in favour of the plans.

Craig said that despite the claims of those in favour, the assembly would have made little difference to waste management in the region, with unitary authorities already having strong control over how their services are run.

He added: Two thirds of people in the North East live with unitary authorities. Its logical for all local authorities to become unitary, which I think will happen in the long term.

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