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New Council Boundaries for Suffolk

Wednesday, 20th August 2008.

Half way through the consultation on how council services will be run in the future, residents of Suffolk are being urged to stand up and have their say.

The Local Government Review, which is being carried out by the Boundary Committee for England, is looking at the best way to deliver council services in the future.

The Boundary Committee is consulting on two proposals: two unitary councils covering Suffolk (its current preferred option), or one unitary council for the whole of Suffolk. In both cases it proposes Lowestoft moves into Norfolk.

Julia Stephens-Row, Assistant Director is leading on the public consultation said: "I want to urge the residents of Suffolk to make their views known. This is a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Suffolk to help shape how they think council services in Suffolk should be run in the future. Whatever happens, there will be change and this will impact on everyone."

Suffolk County Council thinks a single council for Suffolk would be best. It would look after all local services, from schools, children's centres, buses and bins, to care homes, libraries, parks and roads. Suffolk County Council argues that a single council for Suffolk would be:

"Quality and value for money: Merging eight councils into one cuts duplication - releasing cash to spend on services in your area. One council would save on average 100 per household in Suffolk.
Easy: All services would be provided by the same council. If you needed to report a pot hole, pay your council tax or arrange your child's school place, there would be just one number to ring. One council to call to solve your problems: simple.
Close: You and your neighbours would decide together what is best for your town or village. You would have more power to make decisions about your local community through representation on 'community boards'. Community boards will oversee and respond to the distinctive needs of their area enable communities to:
Putting funding in the right place
Identify priorities
Shape services
Tackle issues that affect them locally."

The county council states that it has been working with as many people as possible to encourage them to have their say. The council has met with over 70 business leaders, 100 representatives of the voluntary and charitable sector and many of Suffolk's town and parish councils.

Consultation will run until Friday 26 September. After the consultation period ends, the Boundary Committee will finalise the proposals and take them to the Secretary of State to make a final decision. It is expected that this will be announced in February with the new authority/authorities likely to take shape in 2010.

To have your say write to: The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW or email below.

For more information on the Local Government Review visit:

Haverhill Online News

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