Unitary councils ruling to be appealed

THE Appeal Court is to be asked to overturn a judicial review judgement that the Boundary Committee was wrong not to consider an option to split Suffolk into three unitary councils.

Graham Dines

THE Appeal Court is to be asked to overturn a judicial review judgement that the Boundary Committee was wrong not to consider an option to split Suffolk into three unitary councils.

Four district authorities - Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath, supported by Waveney - won a High Court ruling which said proper attention should have been paid to their counter proposal for councils based on greater Ipswich, East Suffolk including Waveney, and West Suffolk.

The Boundary Committee dismissed this option after consulting the public on two propositions - one all-powerful unitary with the combined responsibilities of the county and district authorities and two council option of Ipswich-Felixstowe and Greater Suffolk.


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In a statement, the Committee said: “Further to being granted leave to appeal against the judicial review judgment on the local government review in Suffolk, which was handed down on July 10, the independent Boundary Committee for England has confirmed that it has begun appeal proceedings.

“The Committee believes that an appeal is necessary in order to achieve clarity on the way forward for its local government review, and will be pressing for the appeal to be heard as quickly as possible.”

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When the judgement was delivered, Communities Secretary John Denham immediately called a halt to the process of establishing unitary councils in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Devon. The timescale of the appeal is crucial - unless unitaries in the three counties have been established by parliamentary order, the Conservatives have said they will scrap the plans if they win the general election.

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