My old paper The Journal has a bit of a scoop here with the news that the unelected North-East Assembly is set to be scrapped and its powers returned to local authorities. I am assuming that if true this will also sound the death-knell for other similar bodies across England.
The rationale appears to be that Gordon Brown is putting new forms of regional accountability in place through the new regional ministers, proposed regional "Question Times" and regional select committees.
The assemblies, which were set up by John Prescott and Dick Caborn as forerunners for what they hoped would be democratically elected regional bodies, will die a very unlamented death.
Although their members were drawn mainly from local authorities, they always lacked democratic legitimacy and have been living on borrowed political time since the overwhelming no vote in the 2004 North-East referendum put the coffin lid on the regional devolution project.
The fact that some of their powers are now set to be devolved to local authorities will no doubt be presented as an example of the government's new "localism" agenda, but this does not tell the full picture.
I have always rather doubted the ability of local authorities to think beyond their own boundaries and take into account the regional dimensions in policy making, for instance in areas such as strategic transport planning. This will ultimately create a political vacuum into which Whitehall will gratefully step.
That said, it's a reform which, as well as providing another symbolic break with one of the failures of the Blair era, will lose the new government very few votes in most parts of the country.
What it does not do, of course, is leave us any the wiser about what, if anything, El Gordo plans to do about the wider democratic deficit in England, although it does suggest he now accepts that regional assemblies - elected or otherwise - are not part of that solution.