Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils set to move to Ipswich in September
Most staff from Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils will be moving into Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House headquarters next month.
Their current headquarters at Hadleigh and Needham Market will be wound down from September 18 – and will be totally empty by October 1.
Council meetings will move to Endeavour House for both authorities from October – but the final date for the last Mid Suffolk meetings at Needham Market have still to be decided.
Some council committees, like those dealing with planning, may be held in towns directly affected by their decisions.
And some staff from the councils will move to new offices in Stowmarket and Sudbury.
The move comes at a time of major change for the two councils, which share a joint administration and chief executive.
By moving into Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House headquarters they are expected to work even more closely with the county’s largest authority.
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At the same time the Boundaries’ Commission for English Local Authorities is looking to draw up new council ward boundaries for the two authorities.
Babergh should end up with 31 councillors – a reduction of 12 from its current numbers – and Mid Suffolk will have 34, six fewer than at present. Babergh councillors were meeting on Monday night to discuss the changes – and a political split has emerged. Opposition Liberal Democrat councillor Bryn Hurren said there was anger because the proposed change backed by the Conservatives had only 30 councillors and split villages that had traditionally been served by the same member.
He said: “This looks good for the Conservatives on the council, but the 12 opposition members think it is a bit of a stitch-up.”
Conservative councillor Simon Barrett said the changes would cut the cost of the council and the change would ensure wards were the same electoral size of each other.
An alternative proposal is also being discussed with 32 councillors on more similar lines to the current boundaries – but that does not create such equally-populated wards.
Councils and members of the public have until next Monday to make final submissions to the Boundary Commission.