BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
A COMMUNITY leader has today voiced strong concern over “double branding” which he believes shows two councils joining up by stealth.
Town and district councillor Mike Sharman has been appalled to see the name of Waveney District Council, alongside its sister council Suffolk Coastal, on notices at Felixstowe.
He fears the district is losing its independence and the resort, whose residents often criticise management by “Big Brother” at Woodbridge, would have even less connection with an area 40 miles away.
“It is very bizarre and a little ridiculous,” said Mr Sharman.
“You don’t expect to see Waveney District Council on signs on Felixstowe seafront – they are not our council.
“I don’t think people in Ipswich would be very pleased if there were signs on the Cornhill saying Ipswich Borough Council and Babergh District Council.
“It’s as if we are losing our identity. I don’t like the way Waveney’s name takes precedence over Suffolk Coastal either – I can see the two councils being one in about 20 years, but this looks as if they are joining up by stealth.”
It is understood the notices make it more flexible for staff from the two councils to work across the borders of each authority – Waveney staff could issue fixed penalty tickets in Suffolk Coastal if the signs also state their council’s title.
This year, 176 on-the-spot fines have been issued in Waveney – 150 for littering and 26 for dog fouling and other incidents. Figures are not available for Suffolk Coastal, but there have only been a handful issued.
“The shared branding of In Partnership is used on those services which are working jointly across the two council areas of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney,” said a council spokesman.
“This is not an issue of independence but of greater efficiency, and to date these shared working initiatives have helped both councils save in excess of £4 million which is excellent news for the residents of both districts.”
■ Do you object to Waveney having its name on signs in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email email@example.com