THE COST and non-financial benefits of merging the north's councils in 2015 is to be examined for the first time.
The Department of Communities' confirmation that it is to carry out the review comes after the local government financial watchdog recently found councils are spending beyond their means and getting further into debt.
Billed as 'the biggest shake-up in local government for a generation', one of the key arguments for reducing the number of councils in the north from 26 to 11 was to cut costs.
The challenge is on local government budgets have never been greater with councils looking to maximise their opportunities to innovate and create new funding streams.
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