CHESHIRE County Council has been told it would have a 5% chance of winning a legal challenge to plans which will sound the death knell for the authority.
The Government is pressing ahead with a new local government structure which will see Cheshire ruled by just two new councils covering Cheshire West and Cheshire East.
County Hall’s Conservative administration, which opposes the reorganisation, had threatened to take legal action to overturn the decision but has now been told its chance of success would be minimal.
Council leader Cllr Paul Findlow is refusing to comment ahead of the official decision next Tuesday.
But Labour leader Cllr Derek Bateman has been given the same information.
He said: “As far as I am aware, the county council would have very little chance of succeeding in a legal challenge.
“There would be a 10% chance of having grounds for an appeal and the chance of winning overall is something like 5%.
“ I think it very unlikely there would be any action by the county council.”
Cllr Bateman, who represents the Central and Westminster division of Ellesmere Port, is content with the arrangements, but many of his Labour colleagues in Tory-dominated East Cheshire are unhappy.
He said: “We have got to make the best of it. We have got to make sure the bits and pieces come together to create a proper level of service.
“My Labour colleagues in East Cheshire are more opposed to it because it leaves Crewe pretty isolated in a huge Tory area.”
Councillors are being appointed for the joint committees for Cheshire West and Cheshire East which will begin to set up the structures of the new authorities.
Elections to the shadow councils will take place in May and power will be handed over to the new councils on April 1 next year.
The joint committee for West Cheshire is made up of three councillors from the three district councils in the area – Chester City Council, Ellesmere Port & Neston and Vale Royal councils – plus six representatives from the county council.
The committee will be led by Vale Royal’s Conservative council leader Les Ford who is joined by his deputy Mark Stocks and Vale Royal’s Labour group leader, Brian Lloyd.
Ellesmere Port has chosen its leader, Cllr Justin Madders, and Cllr Mark Henesy, who will represent Labour while Cllr Myles Hogg will represent the Conservatives. Chester City Council has not yet selected its representatives.
The county council’s West Cheshire representatives include Lib Dem group leader Sue Proctor. The Labour and Conservative members are not known.