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Structural changes to local government in England have taken place or will take place in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Some of these changes continue the trend of new unitary authorities being created from other types of local government districts. Ceremonial counties will not see any changes to their external boundaries, but in some cases their subdivisions will be altered.

Changes in 2019

In all new authorities created in 2019, new councils were elected on 2 May 2019, along with local elections in other parts of the country. See 2019 United Kingdom local elections for details.

Dorset

Map of Dorset before (left) and after (right) the 2019 structural changes.
  • Status: Completed

On 1 April 2019, the ceremonial county of Dorset was changed from consisting of a non-metropolitan county (itself divided into six non-metropolitan districts) and two unitary authorities, into consisting of two unitary authorities.[1][2] The new unitary authorities in Dorset are:

Charter trustees were established for Bournemouth and for Poole as a consequence.[1] For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see 2019 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council election and 2019 Dorset Council election.

Suffolk[Structural changes to local government in England have taken place or will take place in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Some of these changes continue the trend of new unitary authorities being created from other types of local government districts. Ceremonial counties will not see any changes to their external boundaries, but in some cases their subdivisions will be altered.

In all new authorities created in 2019, new councils were elected on 2 May 2019, along with local elections in other parts of the country. See 2019 United Kingdom local elections for details.

Dorset

Dorset was changed from consisting of a non-metropolitan county (itself divided into six non-metropolitan districts) and two unitary authorities, into consisting of two unitary authorities.[1][2] The new unitary authorities in Dorset are:

Charter trustees were established for Bournemouth and for Poole as a consequence.[1] For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see 2019 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council election and 2019 Dorset Council election.

Suffolk

  • Status: Completed

On 1 April 2019, the number of districts in Suffolk was reduced from seven to five. West Suffolk was created by merging Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury. East Suffolk was created by merging Suffolk Coastal and Waveney. These new districts are not unitary authorities, and the two-tier structure of county and district councils remains in place.

For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see Charter trustees were established for Bournemouth and for Poole as a consequence.[1] For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see 2019 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council election and 2019 Dorset Council election.

Suffolk

  • Status: Completed

On 1 April 2019, the number of districts in Suffolk was reduced from seven to five. West Suffolk was created by merging Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury. East Suffolk was created by merging Suffolk was reduced from seven to five. West Suffolk was created by merging Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury. East Suffolk was created by merging Suffolk Coastal and Waveney. These new districts are not unitary authorities, and the two-tier structure of county and district councils remains in place.

For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see 2019 East Suffolk District Council election and 2019 West Suffolk District Council election.

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For details of the inaugural elections to the new councils, see 2019 East Suffolk District Council election and 2019 West Suffolk District Council election.

On 1 April 2019, the number of districts in the non-metropolitan county of Somerset was reduced from five to four, when Taunton Deane and West Somerset were merged as Somerset West and Taunton. This new district is not a unitary authority, and the two-tier structure of county and district councils remains in place.

Charter trustees were established for Taunton as a consequence.[1] For details of the inaugural elections to the new council, see 2019 Somerset West and T

Charter trustees were established for Taunton as a consequence.[1] For details of the inaugural elections to the new council, see 2019 Somerset West and Taunton District Council election.

In all new authorities created in 2020, new councils were scheduled to be elected on 7 May 2020, along with local elections in other parts of the country. However, all local elections in the United Kingdom were postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, so elections scheduled for 2020 will instead be held on 6 May 2021. See 2021 United Kingdom local elections for details.[citation needed]

Buckinghamshire

The existing Buckinghamshire County Council and the non-metropolitan districts of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks, and Wycombe in Buckinghamshire was replaced by a single unitary authority known as Buckinghamshire Council on 1 April 2020. This plan was proposed by Martin Tett, leader of the county council, and backed by then-Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. It received approval from Parliament in May 2019.[3][4] The existing unitary authority of Milton Keynes was not affected; since 1 April 2020, the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire has therefore been composed of two unitary authorities.

Before this was approved by Parliament, the district councils had proposed a different plan in which Aylesbury Vale would become a unitary authority and the three southern districts would become another unitary authority. The district councils opposed the single unitary Buckinghamshire plan, and considered legal action against it.[5]

For details of the inaugural elections to the new council, see 2021 Buckinghamshire Council election.

Changes in 2021

In all new authorities to be created in 2021, new councils will be elected on 6 May 2021, along with local elections in other parts of the country. See 2021 United Kingdom local elections for details.

Northamptonshire