Audit Commission warns Durham

The Audit Commission has warned County Durham’s seven district councils against trying to sway public opinion over the referendum on a North-East regional assembly on breach-of-conduct grounds.

It has written to the councils after members of the public complained about heavily branded comms, such as stickers on wheelie bins and banners on refuse-collection lorries.

Durham County Council has also received a warning.

The referendum concerns the abolishment of the region’s two-tier government structure that comprises county and district councils. It will offer voters to choose between a single body and a system of three unitary authorities.

An Audit Commission spokesperson said: ‘We have written to the councils reminding them of their obligations under the Local Government Act 1972 but have taken no formal action.’

The ballot closes on 14 November.

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