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MPs voted unanimously in favour of single West Suffolk Council

West Suffolk House
West Suffolk House

The formation of a single West Suffolk Council is one step closer to going ahead after MPs voted unanimously in its favour today.

The House of Commons Third Delegated Legislation Committee met this afternoon to discuss the order, which was agreed by members of St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council in February.

Leaders of both councils have previously said that the new council would give West Suffolk a louder voice, helping it to drive jobs, deliver services and make community investments in the area.

The proposals would also save a further £800,000 in savings on top of the £4 million in annual savings already made by sharing services.

Minister Rishi Sunak MP, who presented at the meeting, said: “We’re making a small piece of history, the first ever district council merger. The government is committed to support those local authorities that wish to combine or merge to serve their communities better.

“The proposal we are now considering reflects the long shared history and different parts of the area. Even in local government terms the two existing district councils which you are replacing have a history of shared service partnership.”

He added: “It’s very clear that the two councils in West Suffolk have come together to work on a locally led proposal which, if implemented, will indeed improve local government and service delivery in the area, commands a good deal of local support and that the council area represents incredible geography.”

The order will now go in front of the House of Lords on Wednesday, May 9 and, if agreed, elections for the new council will be held in May 2019.

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