LABOUR CONFERENCE: Norfolk will not be forced to become a unitary authority if Labour wins power

Embargoed to 0001 Monday August 25File photo dated 15/10/13 of Shadow Secretary of State for Communi

Embargoed to 0001 Monday August 25File photo dated 15/10/13 of Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hilary Benn who has claimed hard-up parts of England have been hit by spending cuts 16 times greater than the most affluent areas since the Coalition took power. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday August 25, 2014. The 10 council areas classed as most deprived have lost around £782 per household while wealthier areas have seen just a £48 fall, according to the party's analysis. Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn accused the Government of taking most from those who have the least and pledged to devolve more cash and powers under a Labour government. See PA story POLITICS Councils. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norfolk will not be forced to become a unitary authority if Labour returns to power, the shadow local government minister has said.

Hilary Benn said Labour had no intention of reorganising government – but councils should sort themselves into county regions.

Following the Scottish referendum and calls for more powers for English regions, Mr Benn said any 'new deal' for England was for all parts of the country.

'I have said right form the start it is not just about city regions, they are very important, I come from Leeds. As an MP it is also about county regions. The counties and the districts have been saying 'what about us'?'

'I want to see county regions being established. It is up to the local authorities in your area to decide what the structure will be,' he added.


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'Will it be one county and the districts within it? Will it be two counties coming together? It is a bottom up process. This is really important, because politicians could sit with a pen and say I will redraw the map and think Norfolk and Suffolk should go together, that looks neat.'

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