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Another step towards the unwanted and unwieldy "East Suffolk" super district council

November 10, 2017 2:55 PM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

Yesterday (7th November), the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, made a statement in the House of Commons announcing that he is "minded to" implement the proposal to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils into a single new district council -- the so-called "super district council", which would be (reportedly) the biggest district council in the country. His statement went as follows:

"I have reached this decision on the basis that I consider:

"I intend to assess any further locally-led merger proposals that I receive against these criteria.

"Before I take my final decision on this proposed merger there is now a period until 8 January 2018 during which those interested may make further representations to me, including that if the proposal is implemented it is with suggested modifications. The final decision would also be subject to Parliamentary approval."

It is strange that he believes that the proposal commands local support. If you exclude the "cabinets" of the two district councils concerned, it is rare to meet anyone who believes that it is a good idea to increase the size of the wards that individual councillors would need to cover (as this proposal will require), or to stretch over such geographically separate centres as Felixstowe and Lowestoft with poor transport links, or to combine two district councils with such differing financial positions.

The district councils sought feedback from the public to validate their call for a merger, and the feedback that they received was overwhelmingly negative. We wrote about this here back in March. So why have the district councils not communicated this to the Government? Why do they persist in pretending that this is in any way a desirable move, given that any cost savings of closer working practices have already been realised without the necessity of a formal merger?

We, the public, are invited to make representations to Sajid Javid up until 8th January 2018. If you don't want an East Suffolk District Council, take this chance to tell him so, and to explain your reasons.

 

Source:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-11-07/HCWS232/ [accessed 08 November 2017]

https://suffolkcoastal-libdems.org.uk/en/article/2017/1204319/east-suffolk-super-district-council-an-exercise-in-ignoring-the-voice-of-the-people