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Suffolk Alliance Reacts to Boundary Delay

Wednesday, 11th February 2009.

An alliance of district councils in Suffolk will today urge the Boundary Committee to put an end to the uncertainty and consult with the people of Suffolk on the case for three unitary councils.

It was announced today (Monday 9 February) that there will now be a five month delay before the Committee makes its final recommendations on local government review. An admission - according to three Suffolk Councils – that the initial consultation process was poorly handled. Forest Heath, Waveney and St Edmundsbury councils now hope to use this opportunity to convince the Boundary Committee to listen to the views of local people.

In a letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Boundary Committee, the Secretary of State has asked for the recommendations to be delayed until July 15.

The letter confirms that this will “…allow for significant further consultations and substantial time for the Committee both to prepare for consultation, to consider responses, and formulate any advice it submits”. It also provides the alliance of Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury and Waveney District Councils with time to present its well-argued, publicly-supported case for three unitary councils - East Suffolk, West Suffolk and the Ipswich area – to the Committee.

Nine out of ten people in Suffolk have said the case for three unitaries should be considered – and the alliance will now seek productive and constructive discussions with the Boundary Committee about the strong merits of the three unitary case.

The three Leaders, Cllr Mark Bee, Cllr Geoffrey Jaggard, John Griffiths said: “We must now ensure that this extended period is not filled with yet further uncertainty, but with a determination that the people of Suffolk will be heard by both the Boundary Committee and the Secretary of State. Our case has huge backing from people throughout the county and is best for Suffolk, providing real value for money and keeping decision-making, and accountability, where it should be - with local people familiar with their own local areas.

“This prolonged uncertainty is of great concern but it should enable us to ensure that the Boundary Committee don’t ignore us, and the communities we serve, again."

Full details of the Local Government Review in Suffolk can be found on the Boundary Committee’s website: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/eastern/suffolk/suffolk-structural-review
Further details of the case being made by the alliance of three councils can be located at the following website:

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