First the BBC reported that Norwich had been granted unitary status. Then Charles Clarke leaps in with both feet to congratulate them, though nobody can work out what for. Norwich City Council put out statements saying they had achieved unitary, which all the media duly follow.
Then the Department for Communities issues their press release in which it becomes clear that 9 councils became unitary today ... but Norwich isn't amongst them. The press release says that the government is not convinced by the affordability case (whic was exactly why we opposed it - more tax, services suffer and jobs are cut). So it seemed that Norwich hadn't got unitary. The press feel cheated, City Hall stands accused of spinning and there are red faces all around.
We read on to find out that this will now be referred to the Boundary Commission - City Hall's bid fails, but the government fall back on the bid that was ruled out of order a few months back. Why? Why did the bid that Ruth Kelly dumped months ago suddenly end up back on the table? Clear signs of an emotional political decisions being taken rather than the cold sober treasury judgement we were promised. This bid that will now be taken forward wasn't compliant just weeks ago and now it is. Look out Broadland and South Norfolk - the government confirms that the only way they can make their unitary folly work is by engaging in a land grab AND a power grab.
So, City Hall chiefs are now under fire for spinning the decision, the media have bene made to look fools by City Hall and the good people of South Norfolk and Broadland had better hold onto their wallets. This has costs Norwich £290,000 and it's gonna get a lot more expensive before its over.