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Waveney and Suffolk Coastal could create one of largest councils in country

PUBLISHED: 09:03 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:03 04 March 2016

Suffolk Coastal District Council could be set to merge with Waveney District Council.

Suffolk Coastal District Council could be set to merge with Waveney District Council.

Archant

Two Suffolk council’s are to examine their future working relationship – with the possibility of a merger being explored.

If they were to officially join, it would create one of the geographically largest local authorities in the country.

The announcement comes just a month after Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils published a statement denying speculation about a merger, saying they had “no plans” to link up though would look at future options.

They have been working increasingly closely since appointing a joint chief executive in 2008 in a partnership that has made £16million efficiency savings.

On Monday, March 14 the authorities will hold a Simultaneous Cabinet Meeting when leading councillors from both will consider a report examining all the options for the future – from forming a wider partnership with one or more other district or borough councils to formally merging Suffolk Coastal and Waveney into a single district council for East Suffolk.

The council’s stress that proposals are still at a very early stage. Any merger could not happen without a lengthy democratic process, including public consultation, which would run until 2019 at the earliest.

In a statement, the leaders of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, Ray Herring and Colin Law, said: “Suffolk Coastal and Waveney have been successfully working in partnership since 2008. We were the first councils in Suffolk, and among the first in the country, to adopt this approach.”

“This partnership working has played a key role in both councils’ ability to drive down costs and provide more efficient frontline services, giving local tax payers better value for money.”

“However, in the current economic climate, when councils are being forced to put up council tax for the first time in six years, we recognise that we need to continue to explore new and innovative ways of making savings.

“If the councils decide to explore the possibility of a merger, because it is felt this will help us to deliver better services and provide better value for money, this would have to be agreed by both full councils, as well as there being public consultation and the Boundary Commission being involved.

“Any such proposal would be subject to a lengthy and full democratic process, which would be in the public domain over a period of years and would not be implemented before the 2019 elections.”

6 comments

  • District councils are having to work more closely to manage their budget constraints. However, sharing services while remaining politically separate and a merger are two totally different things. Babergh and Mid-Suffolk DCs have been sharing services for some time (with SCC providing some back-office services to both), but their councillors have made it pretty clear that they'll remain politically separate. Like easylec said, turkeys-Christmas.

    Report this comment

    ShimmyMcGee

    Sunday, March 6, 2016

  • There is already a merged council it is SCC there is no need for all the others. Merging SCC with NCC and doing away with the district lot which replicates county councils would save millions. It will happen eventually but the people who make the decisions are the same people who are in power at the councils. #Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

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    easylec

    Saturday, March 5, 2016

  • Felixstowe & Martlesham needs to decide if its future is Orwell or Deben focused. It can be part of a Deben, Woodbridge led and Lowestoft controlled super district, with a more rural outlook and needs, A district with priorities for upgrading an A12 to Sizewell where few in Felixstowe & Martlesham will benefit. Or, Felixstowe & Martlesham can be a powerful contributor and beneficiary in a Greater Ipswich & Orwell council, a real eastern powerhouse, maintaining and growing its industrial and historic ties along the Orwell. Whatever the outcome, I urge Felixstowe, Kesgrave & Martlesham people not to just blindly accept what SCDC & Waveney propose, and to go in without prejudice and with your eyes open.

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Saturday, March 5, 2016

  • Mr Doff - currently 37 - exactly half - of the 74 Suffolk County Councillors are also members of a District or Borough council. There's one vacancy...

    Report this comment

    Wheel Tapper

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Well T Doff you don't research very well before you post, SCDC reduced their Members from 55 to 42 for last years election.

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    True blue

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • I don't suppose that any merger would reduce the number of District Councillors (several also on the County), who are mostly ineffectual but cost a lot of money - paid for out of our pockets. There's always plenty of chat about "back-office savings", but nothing about reducing the numbers of these parasites, who are there really only to rubberstamp the decisions made by the council employees, pose for spin photographs, and to read out statements written by the PR departments.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Friday, March 4, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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