Call for unitary authority

A leading councillor has called for a Suffolk wide unitary authority to make thousands of pounds in savings.

County Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, leader of the Green and Independent Group, says the move would help halve the number of councillors and reduce the amount spent on their allowances.

He said: “There isn’t enough money for services anyway. I’m just saying be brave and bold and let’s ask for a reduction in the number of councillors because we’ve got 86 district, borough and county counillors in West Suffolk.

“Why don’t we just have a one Suffolk authority to provide everybody’s services.”

Cllr Ereira-Guyer has previously argued for two separate West and East Suffolk authorities but has changed his stance following the ongoing savings drive.

It follows recent management mergers between St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Councils as well as Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils.

However, Cllr Mark Bee, the leader of the county council, said the move would be a ‘complete and utter expensive distraction at this time which we can ill afford’.

He added: “That’s not to say it may not happen in the future. No one has closed the door on it but we need to focus on economic growth and saving money.”