Plans for a West Midlands city-region based around Birmingham have been criticised as a return to the past, in evidence to a House of Commons inquiry.
Campaigners said the proposal was simply a revival of the old West Midlands County Council, which was abolished in 1986.
It would also provide new powers and funding for urban areas while excluding the shire counties, they claimed.
The concerns were raised by the West Midlands Constitutional Convention, a pressure group calling for devolution in the English regions.
It supports the creation of an elected council for the greater West Midlands region, including the shires.
Councillor Phil Davis, chairman of the Constitutional Convention and former leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, presented a paper to a House of Commons inquiry into the future of regional government.
The Government originally planned to create elected regional assemblies in each of the nine English regions, similar to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.
The aim was partly to counter complaints that England was treated unfairly.
However, the proposal was abandoned when voters in the North-east of England rejected a regional assembly in a referendum in 2004.
Instead, David Miliband, the Local Government Minister, is considering creating city-regions.
There could potentially be a city-region based around Birmingham, and a second centred on Stoke.
Coun Davis said: "Isn't a city-region just covering the metropolitan area going back to the future?"
The Government could create elected regional government by holding elections for regional peers, who would sit in the House of Lords and a regional council, he said.
"Regionally elected members of a reformed second chamber could also sit as a Regional Council. This could provide democratic legitimacy for all the major decisions now carried out by civil servants and other unelected regional bodies in our region."