Councils set to merge services

SUFFOLK: More council services across the county are set to be shared between authorities in an attempt to cut costs, it has emerged.

Tomorrow members of Ipswich Borough Council are set to agree to merge their revenue section – which issues council tax bills and collects the money – with similar services in Mid Suffolk and Babergh.

The councils have been working towards this merger for months, and by combining the services they are looking forward to making savings of about �4 million over a ten-year period.

Ipswich’s council leader Liz Harsant said the proposal to go ahead with the joint service was significant – but did not think this would be the last joint venture.

She said: “We would like to have included more authorities in this joint venture, and there is an opportunity to bring in more councils at a later stage.

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“And we shall have to look at the opportunity of running more joint services in the future – although there is nothing specific on that yet.”

The borough already shares its museum service with that in Colchester – and its building regulations services with Babergh and Suffolk Coastal.

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Mrs Harsant said the fact that other councils were considering merger meant there were limited opportunities for sharing services.

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