Plans for single West Suffolk authority backed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council

West Suffolk House Picture Mark Westley
West Suffolk House Picture Mark Westley
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Proposals to create a single West Suffolk council have been backed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Full council and cabinet met last night and agreed the business case should go to Government, subject to approval by Forest Heath District Council, which will discuss it today.

The business case was informed by an engagement exercise which saw 70 per cent of residents back the initiative in an independent poll.

The business case suggested the new council could better drive jobs, deliver services and continue investment to support local communities than the current arrangement. In addition, it could generate around £800,000 in savings and efficiencies and help to protect the additional £4 million of annual savings already produced by sharing services.

At the same time a new council could better support, invest in and meet the challenges facing communities, such as increased population, demand on health care and housing as well as reduced funding nationally.

If Forest Heath District Council also supports the proposals, the business case will be sent to the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government for a Parliamentary order to be made.

Councillor John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Leader, said: “We have listened to local residents and organisations who agree lines on a map or council structures should not get in the way of providing services, opportunity and continued investment in our communities.

“The case for creating a new single council was compelling and once again puts us at the forefront of transforming how local government works to benefit directly the people we serve. Not only can we continue to deliver high quality services but we can better champion our area, drive the local economy, jobs and prosperity in West Suffolk while tackling the challenges facing all public services.”