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Future of civic leadership for new West Suffolk Council under the spotlight next week




The future of civic leadership for the new West Suffolk Council is set to be discussed at a meeting next week.

A detailed report has been drawn up after an online survey about the issue attracted 494 responses and will be discussed by the West Suffolk Shadow Council on Tuesday, November 20.

Findings suggest there 'should be a new defined role, regardless of title, for civic leadership to match the aspirations of communities and businesses'.

Cllr Margaret Marks, the mayor of St Edmundsbury. A meeting next week will discuss the future of civic leadership in West Suffolk. Picture: Mecha Morton.
Cllr Margaret Marks, the mayor of St Edmundsbury. A meeting next week will discuss the future of civic leadership in West Suffolk. Picture: Mecha Morton.

When the new authority, which replaces St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Councils, is created next April it will be a district council with a chairman.

On Tuesday, councillors will vote on whether to hold a special meeting to decide whether to apply for borough status, which would allow it to have a mayor.

The report also recommends that the new council should develop and support civic leadership at a more local level including the possibility of town councils such as Bury St Edmunds creating new town mayors.

Forest Heath District Cllr Ruth Bowman and St Edmundsbury Borough Cllr Carol Bull, portfolio holders for future governance, said: “This report is one of the most detailed and in-depth of its type in the country with other authorities asking us for its findings.

"We would like to thank everyone who took part, your views have not only been essential in writing the report but will inform the debate councillors will have.

"Councillors will now debate the role and principles of the new civic leader and in turn whether to retain district status or to apply for borough status."

  • See Friday's Bury Free Press newspaper for more details.



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