Big day for future of Suffolk councils

THE future of local government across Suffolk may become clearer today when Whitehall announces the latest phase of its controversial local government shake-up.

Craig Robinson

THE future of local government across Suffolk may become clearer today when Whitehall announces the latest phase of its controversial local government shake-up.

The Boundary Committee has proposed the abolition of Suffolk County Council and seven district authorities.

It wants to create two unitary authorities - Ipswich-Felixstowe, covering the two towns and their surrounding parishes and Suffolk Rural, responsible for an area stretching from Sudbury and Haverhill to Woodbridge and Southwold.


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Under the plans Lowestoft would be absorbed into a single Norfolk unitary.

But the proposals have come under fire from local authorities across the county - who have put together their own alternatives.

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The county council and Mid Suffolk district want a single Suffolk county unitary which would also include Lowestoft.

Another counter proposal has been lodged by Waveney, St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath districts, seeking the division on the county into three unitaries - Greater Ipswich, West Suffolk and East Suffolk.

Today the government is due to announce whether any of these other options will be considered before Secretary of State Hazel Blears makes her final decision in July.

There will be another two months of public consultation before any final decisions are taken. The Conservatives have pledged they will abort the process if they win the next General Election.

In January, the Boundary Committee's costs stood at �218,757 - including �11,794 on printing, �2,248 on mapping the area and �65,791 on consultants' fees.

A Boundary Committee spokesman said: “Our processes have been upheld at judicial review. We gave people the opportunity to comment and thousands did.”

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