Mid Suffolk: Council considers closing over Christmas to match arrangements at Babergh. Do you agree with the proposal?

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering closing its office during Christmas

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering closing its office during Christmas - Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

It is only September but one Suffolk council is already planning its Christmas holidays.

For more than 20 years Babergh District Council has closed over the festive break but drive 12 miles to Needham Market and you will find their colleagues at Mid Suffolk District Council working.

In recent years the councils have integrated their services and staff to save money at a time of significant cuts to their grants.

Derrick Haley, Mid Suffolk council leader, said he was not happy having some staff at work while others were on holiday.

“That’s the whole point – we have got the same staff and people know what I’ve said; I have been very clear – if we have got one lot of staff they should have one set of conditions,” he said.

“We cannot have half here and half there, so I am quite happy to see us do it across both authorities; that’s my view. I am quite happy to support what’s proposed.”

Mid Suffolk has around a quarter of the normal number of enquiries during Christmas compared to the rest of the year.

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Last Christmas 122 people came to the offices – with almost 370 calls on a range of issues including council tax and benefits.

Andrew Hunkin, Mid Suffolk and Babergh’s corporate strategic director, said: “If that decision is made we will publish it and only do it for one year to see if there are any issues which need to be dealt with.”

Mid Suffolk’s executive committee is meeting today to discuss it. If agreed emergency calls would be handled by an out-of-hours team. Savings are expected but Mr Hunkin said they would not be significant.