‘Truly historic moment’ as new West Suffolk Council gets parliament seal of approval
- Credit: Archant
The creation of a new West Suffolk Council has been given the official go-ahead by parliament with leaders describing it as “a truly historic moment” for the district.
The final orders have been signed by Rishi Sunak MP, minister for local government, to create the new authority, which will replace Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils.
The signing follows the orders passing through all the procedural stages through the House of Lords and Commons.
According to council leaders, the new singular authority will better drive jobs, deliver services and continue investment to support local communities.
It will also generate around £800,000 in additional savings and help protect the £4million of annual savings already produced by sharing services.
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In a joint statement the leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, John Griffiths, and leader of Forest Heath District Council, James Waters, said: “This is a truly historic moment for west Suffolk and the UK as a whole in the transformation of local government to better meet the needs of local communities.
“The local residents and businesses that we serve are at the heart of this change which will mean we can better manage growth, encourage jobs and prosperity while protecting our high quality services.
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“Both councils have been on this journey together from sharing services to save £4m annually to our investment strategy, which has seen millions of pounds put aside to help provide housing, support business and bring social benefits.
“We have an ambitious vision for our area to drive our economy and make sure this unique place we call home continues to be a great place to bring up a family or grow a business.
“We are seen nationally as a leader in transforming how councils and the public sector work together to break down barriers and forge new initiatives that directly benefit our residents.
“The case for the new council was compelling and backed both locally and now by government.
“The new council allows us to bring tailored local solutions and gives a louder voice to champion our area nationally and internationally. We look forward to a bright future for west Suffolk.”
Both councils have also been making a strong case to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make sure strong representation of local communities is maintained.
The first meeting of the shadow authority will be May 30 with the new West Suffolk Council being created in April 2019.
Elections will be held the following month.