Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils have now received approval by the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for the plan to create a brand new ‘super district council’ for east Suffolk.
The councils agreed to create a new, single 'super district' council, serving the residents and communities of east Suffolk, from Lowestoft in the north to Felixstowe in the south in January 2017.
Our formal proposal document for the merger details the plans for creating the new, single council.
A shorter summary proposal document has also been produced to summarise the reasons for the proposal and the process that the councils will follow.
A briefing document is also available, along with a map of the east Suffolk area showing the links and similarities between the two council areas.
Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council have been working increasingly closely together since first sharing a Chief Executive in 2008. Working in this way has already enabled the Councils to save over £18m since 2010.
Both councils are committed to ensuring that East Suffolk is in the best possible position to respond to, and take advantage of, the emerging opportunities and challenges that they face.
With this in mind the Council Leaders asked their joint Strategic Management Team (SMT) to investigate the various options available for further transformation of the councils’ partnership working.
The Cabinets reviewed the options presented by SMT at a simultaneous meeting on 14 March 2016. Having considered the options the Cabinets requested SMT to produce a more detailed case for the formal merger of the two district councils.
A further, more detailed report and proposal for merger was considered at a simultaneous meeting of the two Cabinets on 25 July 2016. Both Cabinets unanimously endorsed the proposal to create a new single Council for East Suffolk as their preferred approach.
Merging to become a single Council for East Suffolk is the next logical step in the natural evolution of our ‘in partnership’ working. Compared with the other potential options it is the simplest to implement, low risk, and involves limited transitional costs. It will also ensure that the Councils are best placed to be able to act with flexibility and agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities facing local government, and specifically in East Suffolk.
The Proposal for merging Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils evidences that merging to become a ‘Super District’ for east Suffolk would deliver further savings of approximately £1.3m per annum.
Alongside the summary proposal, detailed public engagement has now taken place through telephone polling of a representative sample of 1000 residents from across east Suffolk.
An independent telephone survey by leading research consultancy ComRes was conducted in October 2016. ComRes contacted a representative sample of 1,000 local people (500 from each district council area), who live in east Suffolk and asked them a number of questions about the proposals. Of these, a majority of respondents (57%) expressed a favourable view about the proposals, with 22% giving an unfavourable view and 20% saying ‘don’t know’. However, this favourable figure increased when respondents were provided with more information about the plans, with seven out of ten then expressing a favourable view (72%).