Suffolk shake-up to go ahead

TOWN and county bosses were today given an assurance by the government that proposals to shake up authorities throughout East Anglia would go ahead despite the looming recession.

TOWN and county bosses were today given an assurance by the government that proposals to shake up authorities throughout East Anglia would go ahead despite the looming recession.

There had been speculation that the economic gloom could prompt the government to shelve proposals to reform local authorities, creating unitary councils to run services in the Ipswich and Felixstowe area and another to run services in rural Suffolk.

But today local government minister John Healey told council chiefs who travelled to London that shelving the reform was not an option.

“He told us that LGR (Local Government Review) was part of the solution to the problem, not a cause - the government remains committed to improving the way councils operate,” said Ipswich Council chief executive James Hehir.


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Today's meeting brought together representatives from all councils likely to be affected by the changes at a meeting in London to help the ministers decide which scheme to go ahead with.

The Electoral Commission's Boundary Committee has recommended that two councils should be created in Suffolk - North Haven, including Ipswich, Felixstowe, and the Shotley peninsula and a rural Suffolk Council.

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Lowestoft would become part of a single Norfolk authority.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears is expected to announce the final shape of local authorities in Suffolk early next year, allowing the first elections for them to be held in May.

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