Northern England devolution referendums, 2004

Northern England Devolution Referendums, 2004

Northern England devolution referendums, 2004

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The Northern England devolution referendums were referendums starting with the North East region of England, in the United Kingdom, on 4 November 2004. Dubbed by the government the Great North Vote, the referendum proposed that the region should have an elected regional assembly. The voters rejected the proposal by 77.9%, also halting proposals to devolve power in other English regions: the similar planned votes in North West England and in Yorkshire and the Humber were postponed and then dropped.

Options put to vote

The creation of regional assemblies was to be tied to abolition of the existing two-tier structure for local government in these regions; and its replacement with a uniform system of unitary authorities. In areas that currently have two-tier government (Cheshire, County Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland), voters were to be asked which pattern of unitary government they would like to see.

Two options were proposed by the Boundary Committee for each county in the review area - generally consisting of a single unitary authority for the entire county, or a breakup into smaller authorities which are larger than the existing districts. It was recommended that ceremonial counties be left untouched in most cases. This recommendation was broadly (with one minor alteration in West Lancashire) accepted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Voting was to take place on a per-county council-area basis, except that the Cumbria and Lancashire...
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