Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils' Cabinets last night unanimously approved the proposal to create a new single Council for east Suffolk.
The Cabinets of the two Councils last met in March to consider the five different options for partnership development and as a result it was proposed that a more detailed case should be considered for the preferred option of a formal merger.
At the Simultaneous Cabinet meeting last night, Cabinet members considered the detailed merger proposal. The proposal reflects upon the considerable achievements of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney who have worked in partnership since first sharing a Chief Executive in 2008. The Councils have saved approximately £16m since 2010 by working in partnership together. The proposal for merging the two Council is designed to ensure the most effective delivery of the Councils’ shared vision for east Suffolk, as set out in their joint Business Plan (2015-2023), and will deliver further savings of at least £1.3m per annum.
Councillors were asked to agree that the next steps are taken towards the creation of a new, single District Council for east Suffolk from 2019.
Now that both Cabinets have agreed to the proposals, a public consultation is planned to take place in the autumn. A final decision will then be taken by both Councils in January 2017.
The Leaders of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, said:
“This is an important step in the process of creating a new ‘Super District’ for east Suffolk”.
We will now be engaging with residents to help us consider the benefits and impact of a decision to create a new single Council for east Suffolk.
We’ve been working in partnership for over eight years, and during this time we have been committed to building upon our shared services partnership working. Through the development of our Business Plan we took a positive step towards adopting a more business-like approach to developing financial self-sufficiency, encouraging growth across east Suffolk and enabling our communities to develop from within, to maintain their quality of life. This is the next incremental step in our partnership together.
As both Councils along the east coast, we are facing a number of the same key challenges. The Local Government world is continually changing and with that comes the financial constraints and constant pressures on growth and infrastructure, housing demand and employment opportunities.
We believe that despite these challenges, we have acted with both resilience and the capacity to adapt and change to ensure that they do not impact on local residents, businesses and tax payers.
We believe merging the two Councils will ensure we can make annual savings of around £1.3m and act with flexibility and agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities facing local government.”