A leaked version of the Levelling Up White Paper has revealed plans to scrap two-tier local government in England.
The delayed paper, seen by The Independent, lays out plans for devolution to directly elected leaders, across a defined economic geography, as expected. But it also argues for a simpler local government structure, reorganising all councils into a unitary structure.
Levelling up secretary Michael Gove had promised the white paper before Christmas. However, recent reports revealed it had been pushed back to the start of next year. The MJ understands it was blocked amid a battle between Mr Gove’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Number 10.
The Levelling Up White Paper, which is expected to be published alongside a series of around five or six county deals, outlines a host of ‘missions’ for the Government to deliver by the end of the decade, covering health, living standards and crime, The Independent has claimed.