Unitary bid set to be abandoned

IPSWICH is set to all but abandon its hopes of becoming a unitary authority it has been revealed.

IPSWICH is set to all but abandon its hopes of becoming a unitary authority it has been revealed.

Instead it will work towards joining a North Haven authority covering south Suffolk.

Following the Government's rejection of the borough's stand alone bid and the Boundary Committee's recommendation that Suffolk's county town becomes part of large authority based around the rivers Deben, Orwell, and Stour, council leaders say they have no option other than to co-operate on bringing the council into being.

Tonight's meeting of Ipswich council's executive will effectively throw in the towel and admit defeat over its unitary bid. Council leader Liz Harsant, who has been appointed chairman of the North Haven Board, said: “When the Government decided against our own unitary bid, we supported other councils in the county for three unitary authorities - Greater Ipswich and East and West Suffolk.

“If they were to come about, I would be thrilled, but the only alternative we have been given by the BCE to a North Haven and Suffolk rural is One Suffolk, which will be remote and the very opposite of local democracy.”

Earlier this month, the Boundary Committee for England (BCE) shocked council leaders in the county by proposing the abolition of the county and eight district councils in Suffolk, and replacing them with just two unitary authorities - Ipswich-Felixstowe and Suffolk rural.

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The name Ipswich-Felixstowe has been dropped and the working title of North Haven adopted for the south Suffolk council which will include Kesgrave, Martlesham, the Trimleys, and Felixstowe from Suffolk Coastal, the Shotley Peninsular, Capel St Mary and Stratford St Mary from Babergh, and Great Blakenham and Claydon from Mid Suffolk.

The Boundary Committee has put its proposals out to public consultation until September 26.