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Babergh/Mid Suffolk: Referendum on councils merging is not ruled out. What do you think? Should Babergh and Mid Suffolk join together as one authority?

12:18 20 June 2014

Babergh District Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh.

Babergh District Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh.


A referendum into the potential merger of two Suffolk councils has not been ruled out – despite electors voting it down three years ago.


Andrew Hunkin, a strategic director for Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils, made the admission at Needham Market Town Council on Wednesday.

He was discussing the ongoing review of the councils’ headquarters – which could see the
scrapping of the bases in Hadleigh and Needham.

Kevin Hunter, Needham’s town clerk, asked Mr Hunkin whether a referendum was being considered.

“There are no discussions around a further referendum but no-one is saying there will never be,” Mr Hunkin said.

“It’s about integration, that’s as far as we are going at the moment.”

Earlier he warned councillors how the government was only half way through its austerity plan. Mid Suffolk is expected to have its main funding from Whitehall cut from its current level of £4.4million to £2.6m in 2018.

The 2011 referendum, which asked if residents wanted Mid Suffolk and Babergh to merge into one council, was narrowly rejected.

Mr Hunkin believes a number of options will be put to the councils as they consider what to do with their headquarters.

Both councils have stressed that no decision has yet been made. If the headquarters did go then satellite offices are expected to be set up.

Josephine Lea, who was acting mayor for the evening, said: “For Needham Market to have Mid Suffolk move out would be a big issue.”

Last year Mid Suffolk leader, Derrick Haley, said the councils would have to revisit the idea of them merging.

The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

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Police say the female driver jumped a red light.

A car has crashed into another vehicle after reportedly jumping a red light in Wivenhoe.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

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The Greyhound, Lavenham

Two fire crews are at the scene of The Greyhound pub in Lavenham after a small chimney fire broke out.

Lost pig found wandering in Wrabness by public and reported to police

Police are hunting for the owner of a large pig found trotting down the road in Wrabness.

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham

Supporters of one Suffolk church targeted by lead thieves have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage caused to it – and help prevent it from happening again.

Robert Morton

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Community transport, like Dial a Ride, faces financial cuts.

Funding for on-demand transport in Suffolk is to be cut in half – but there was a furious reaction after the Conservative cabinet at the county council ruled out any new debate on the subject.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Bella was brought in the Braintree Police Station with serious injuries

A Shar Pei dog was brought to Braintree Police Station in a “horrific” state with scars across its stomach and internal injuries.

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