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Full steam ahead for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney merger as it receives Government blessing

PUBLISHED: 18:16 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:16 07 November 2017

Waveney MP Peter Aldous, Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring, secretary of state for communities and local government Sajid Javid, Waveney leader Mark Bee, and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter meet to discuss the East Suffolk councils' merger. Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

Waveney MP Peter Aldous, Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring, secretary of state for communities and local government Sajid Javid, Waveney leader Mark Bee, and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter meet to discuss the East Suffolk councils' merger. Picture: SUFFOLK COASTAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

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Proposals to create a “super council” in east Suffolk have been given the seal of approval by Government.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid said he was “minded to approve” the project to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney districts to create the biggest council of its kind in the country.

The two councils believe the merger is the best way forward for the area and will save millions of pounds in the years ahead by working together and sharing even more resources than they do at present.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, Mr Javid said: “Having carefully considered all the material and representations I have received, I am ‘minded to’ implement the locally-led proposal I received from Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils in February 2017 to merge their two respective councils to become a single, new district council.”

It is believed this is the first time that the Secretary of State has given his backing to such a plan.

Before he takes his final decision, he has announced there will be a period of time, until January 8, during which those interested can make further representation to him, including making any suggested modifications to the proposals.

He will then make his final decision, which will be subject to Parliamentary approval.

The “minded to” decision gives the councils the go ahead to proceed with getting everything in place to make the creation of a new council in May 2019 a reality.

Welcoming the news, the Leaders of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, Ray Herring and Mark Bee said in a joint statement: “This is great news for us and the people of east Suffolk. By creating a new, larger and more influential council, we will be able to continue to drive costs down, which maintaining services and investing in our local communities.

“We have a proud record of achieving success through innovative partnership working between Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council. We are glad that the Secretary of State has recognised that the creation of this new ‘super district’ is the next logical step for us to take, if we are to keep on reducing costs while protecting frontline services.”

“We need to evolve, if we are to successfully address the shared opportunities and challenges that both councils face, such as the significant reductions in Central Government funding for councils and the need for investment in growth and infrastructure projects, as well as providing more much-needed housing.”

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