LANCASHIRE currently has 15 different councils.

Two unitary authorities – Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool – provide the full range of services to residents and collect their council tax.

The rest of the county has a two-tier system. Lancashire County Council - based in Preston - is responsible for major services such as education, child welfare, adult social care, public health and highways.

Below it are 12 district councils - including Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale - which provide more local ones including bin collection, leisure, and planning. They collect council tax for the county.

The government wants to create a Lancashire combined authority and simplify the structure.

The plan would create three unitary councils - Central (Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and West Lancashire); North West (Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, and Lancaster) and Pennine (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Rossendale, Hyndburn and Pendle). Ribble Valley could go in either of the last two.