East Suffolk council merger approved by MPs in parliament

The Riverside building in Lowestoft is the base for Waveney District Council. Picture: James Bass

The Riverside building in Lowestoft is the base for Waveney District Council. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The proposed merger of Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council was debated in parliament today.

Officials from both councils were in Westminster to witness the debate of the parliamentary order which will see East Suffolk District Council created.

East Suffolk will be the largest district council in the country with a population of 240,000 people when it is approved by parliament.

The order for the formal creation of the new council was debated in the House of Commons at 2.30pm, followed by a debate in the House of Lords at 3.45pm.

Approved by the Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee, an 'assenting motion' will now be heard in both the Commons and the Lords tomorrow, before secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, James Brokenshire, signs the order later this month to formally confirm the creation of the new council.

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The order received cross-party support with both Rishi Sunak, parliamentary under-secretary of state for local government and shadow secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Andrew Gwynne both offering support.

Mr Sunak said: 'The government is committed to support those local authorities that wish to combine to serve their communities better.

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'Recreating the East Suffolk area reflects the long, shared history of different parts of the area.'

Mr Gwynne said: 'The history of the shared service partnerships across the two district councils stands the new authority in good stead because often when bring two together or more councils in a new arrangement there can be rivalries within the new district.'

Cllr Mark Bee, Leader of Waveney District Council said: 'We are now extremely close to the new Council coming in to existence and this is another very important landmark on that journey.

'This is the very first time that an Order to create a new council from two district authorities will have been formally debated in the Commons and I am incredibly proud of the efforts that have brought us this far.'

Cllr Ray Herring, Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council said: 'This is another critical milestone on the path to the historic creation of a new council for east Suffolk and this is a day of considerable pride for us.

'An incredible amount of detailed and hard work has brought us to this stage and seeing it come to fruition is very exciting.'

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