Hadleigh may vote to join North Haven

PEOPLE living in and around a historic market town will soon be able to have their say on the biggest shake-up of local government in more than three decades.

Craig Robinson

PEOPLE living in and around a historic market town will soon be able to have their say on the biggest shake-up of local government in more than three decades.

The Boundary Commission wants to scrap Suffolk County Council and its seven districts and replace them with two unitary authorities, North Haven and Rural Suffolk.

Under the proposals Hadleigh would be included in the later - which would stretch from Southwold to Newmarket and Sudbury, with its headquarters likely to be in Bury St Edmunds.


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But last night community leaders said they would prefer to be included in the Northern Haven authority - with Ipswich and its surrounding villages, Felixstowe and the Shotley peninsula.

Hadleigh Town Council has now called an extraordinary meeting to discuss the plans and is inviting as many people as possible to come along and air their views.

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Mayor Brian Lazenby said it was a chance to have any questions answered and to learn how people wanted to move forward.

“I called this meeting because I want to know the consensus of the town,” he said. “It is an extremely important decision that will affect all of us for the foreseeable future and I felt it was important to have more input than just the 15 members of the town council.

“In my own opinion I think we should be made part of the North Haven - we have more links with Ipswich than west Suffolk - but for some unknown reason the Boundary Committee has decided to put a circle around us.”

David Grutchfield, town, district and county councillor for Hadleigh, echoed Mr Lazenby's comments. “We have more association with Ipswich - our residents work there, the hospital services are there, the bus routes are there, the rail services are linked and our young people will soon be able to study there as part of the SWISS centre for 16-18 education,” he said.

“We also have more in common with the Shotley peninsula and other surrounding villages such as Sproughton and Hintlesham.”

Mr Grutchfield said the town council would also welcome more control over services that are currently run by the district council.

“There's no question of Babergh existing so the services they provide will disappear. Why not take them over? We would welcome more control - local people know best,” he said.

The extraordinary meeting will be held on Wednesday August 13 at 4.30pm in the Grand Hall of the Guildhall Complex.

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