More concerns raised over unitary plans

VILLAGERS last night voiced concern at the prospect of their picturesque rural community being ruled by Ipswich following proposals for a new unitary council.

Danielle Nuttall

VILLAGERS last night voiced concern at the prospect of their picturesque rural community being ruled by Ipswich following proposals for a new unitary council.

Under options being considered by the Independent Boundary Committee for England, dozens of idyllic Suffolk villages could be swallowed up by an Ipswich and Felixstowe unitary council serving a population of more than 200,000.

The new boundary would take in the Ipswich satellite estates at Kesgrave, Martlesham, and Pinewood as well as 46 villages including the Bealings, the Trimleys, Brightwell, Claydon, Bramford, Sproughton, Shotley, Holbrook, East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary.


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The proposals have already been met with concern by many of the villages affected.

Residents in Bealings, near Woodbridge, which is currently under Suffolk Coastal District Council, last night sent out a resounding plea for their village to be left alone.

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Jazmine D'Angelo, landlady of the Admirals Head, in Little Bealings, said: “Governing rural areas is completely different to governing towns and cities.

“We are happy with having somewhere in Woodbridge which is local. We deal with all our licensing matters at the premises in Woodbridge. It's convenient and we don't have to worry about parking.

“We would prefer it if we could stay as we are.

“From a business and personal point of view having a local council nearby is far more convenient and the understanding of rural needs is better.”

Sarah Cartwright, Great Bealings Parish Council clerk, added: “I do not think people will be very happy about the Ipswich and Felixstowe unitary.

“It means council tax will go up for people in Bealings. There will be more development.

“We do not want to become part of Ipswich. I never thought there was a chance we would so it's come as a bit of a shock.”

The parish council is holding a meeting on July 21 to discuss the implications of an Ipswich and Felixstowe unitary authority for the village.

The unitary could be up and running within two years, with the rest of Suffolk except Lowestoft being served by a council stretching from Newmarket to Southwold.

However, the independent Boundary Committee for England has not ruled out a single unitary county for Suffolk - which is its favoured option for Norfolk - and has put both plans out to public consultation before submitting its final proposals to the Government.

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