Is one Devon unitary council being created by stealth?

DCC Leader John Hart said on Spotlight this evening, that the reason Devon isn’t going for unitisation is that the government usually insists on 0.5m population for a unitary council and so Devon would need 2 unitary councils and, whichever way you cut it, that would result in one rich council and one poor council. (Presumably he means a north/south divide or east/west).

(No worries, Mr Hart, ALL councilswill be very poor, very soon!)

BUT WAIT! Isn’t “Greater Exeter” coming in close to 500,000 population?

Exeter – approx 120,000
Mid Devon – approx 80,000
Teignbridge – approx 125,000
East Devon – approx 140,000

YES – it is big enough to be unitary and is developing an over-arching “Strategic Plan”.

Are we getting a “Greater Exeter” unitary council by stealth?