Research Output

New unitary authorities and economic development

  Local authority economic development activities have grown significantly during the last decade (see for instance: Mills and Young, 1986; Chandler and Lawless, 1985; Rowan-Robinson & Lloyd, 1987; Sellgren, 1991; McQuaid, 1992). However across Britain, the structures of these authorities is in the process of major reform with the introduction of single-tier authorities. In England the Local Government Commission is considering unitary structures on an area by area basis, although they are also permitted to recommend no change in the current structure (DoE, 1991). In Wales and Scotland, central government is determining the functions and boundaries of the new unitary authorities (The Scottish Office, 1991, 1992; Welsh Office 1991; see Midwinter, 1992, and Boyne, 1992 for comments), while Northern Ireland, the Islands of Scotland and metropolitan authorities in England already have unitary structures.
The proposals for unitary local government are likely to affect economic development in many ways, including: what activities are carried out; relationships with other key actors; accountability and democracy; and the costs of local government. This paper analyses these possible impacts, with specific reference to proposals for Scotland, although many of the issues have general applicability across the UK.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 1992

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HJ Public Finance


McQuaid, R. W. (1992). New unitary authorities and economic development


unitary authorities; economic development; local authorities; governance; democracy; Scotland;

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