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Definition of unitary authority noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

unitary authority

 noun
noun
BrE
 
; NAmE
 
(also unitary council)
BrE
 
; NAmE
 
 
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a type of local council introduced in some areas of England from 1995 and in all areas of Wales in 1996. Unitary authorities replaced the old system of county and district councils, providing a single level of local government. Some unitary authorities, for example the East Riding of Yorkshire, govern a wide geographical area, while others control a single large city or town, for example Portsmouth. A similar system of local government was introduced in Scotland in 1996 consisting of council areas. Northern Ireland has had a single-level local government since 1973 made up of ‘district councils’. see also metropolitan county