County on the road to Ipstowe!

PROPOSALS for Suffolk's political future that could see Ipswich team up with Felixstowe will be made public as early as June, it emerged today. Following the dramatic collapse of Ipswich's unitary bid last year, the Boundary Committee has been tasked by central government with looking at other possibilities for revamping council structures across Suffolk.

PROPOSALS for Suffolk's political future that could see Ipswich team up with Felixstowe will be made public as early as June, it emerged today.

Following the dramatic collapse of Ipswich's unitary bid last year, the Boundary Committee has been tasked by central government with looking at other possibilities for revamping council structures across Suffolk.

As a result Suffolk County Council and Suffolk's seven district authorities all face the possibility of abolition.

Today it was announced that draft proposals, that could potentially include a Greater Ipswich and a cross-border Waveney and Great Yarmouth authority, will be published on or around June 16.

A public consultation on the contents will then begin before final recommendations are made to government on December 31.

A spokeswoman for the Boundary Committee said: “The committee will be working with local authorities to develop the initial recommendations and looking at what options there are for unitary government in the area.

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“We will be speaking to councils about the kind of thing they want to see and councils will be providing their suggestions.”

Phase one of the committee's review began yesterday.

It involves gathering information and speaking to relevant “stake holders” and will run until mid April when the emphasis will shift to development of the draft proposals.

Previous proposals for home rule in Ipswich were controversially shelved last December amid claims it would prove too expensive.

Central government initially gave a unitary bid by Ipswich a preliminary green-light last July.

However at the last hurdle Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, decided that the finances did stack up.

A statement released by The Department for Communities and Local Government said Ipswich had not met “the affordability criteria”.

Government is keen for elections for new authorities across Suffolk to take place in June next year.

What changes to council structures would you like to see? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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March 3 - phase one of the review begins

April 14 - phase two of the review begins

June 16(Date yet to be formally confirmed) - draft findings published

June 16 - public consultation begins

December 31 - final recommendations to be made to government