Battle joined in Ipswich tussle

A NEW front has been opened in the battle between Suffolk and Ipswich over the future of local government in the town.The county council has produced a leaflet it is distributing across the county as part of the campaign to retain the current structure in Suffolk.

A NEW front has been opened in the battle between Suffolk and Ipswich over the future of local government in the town.

The county council has produced a leaflet it is distributing across the county as part of the campaign to retain the current structure in Suffolk.

The county's leaflet attacks the proposals on five separate criteria:

1, It claims the change would cost householders dear. It says the change would cost £19 million and then the administration would cost an extra £4 a year.


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However the borough dismisses this. It says there would be an initial one-off cost for reorganisation of £13 million, but there would be savings of £6 million every year after then - meaning that after just over two years council taxpayers in Ipswich would be saving money.

2, The county claims a unitary Ipswich would increase duplication, with two authorities each having senior managers duplicating each others jobs.

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The borough says many of the new departments would be merged with existing functions - for instance adult social care would be merged with housing and libraries would be merged with museum services.

3, The county points out it is a four-star authority and claims there is a concern that a unitary Ipswich could not provide services as well as it does.

The borough says it would be able to focus on the specific needs of an urban centre which are very different to the needs of a rural county.

4, The county doubts that creating a unitary Ipswich would really involve people more in decision-making in the town, saying that locality budgets give councillors the chance to spend money in their own divisions.

5, The county says there is no great support for the Ipswich unitary bid - and other organisations have not been consulted over the proposal.

The borough points out that every councillor representing a seat on the borough or county council is in favour of Ipswich's unitary bid. It is supported by all political parties in the town.

Representations about the future of local government in Ipswich have to be received by June 22 by the government's department of communities and local government.

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