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Fate of Suffolk councils remain unclear

PUBLISHED: 19:40 14 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 July 2010

CONFUSION still surrounds the fate of Suffolk's county and seven district councils which have been caught up in a High Court decision to quash the local government review which would have introduced unitary authorities.

CONFUSION still surrounds the fate of Suffolk's county and seven district councils which have been caught up in a High Court decision to quash the local government review which would have introduced unitary authorities.

The Boundary Committee is due to deliver tomorrow its preferred options on the future shape of local government in Suffolk, Norfolk and Devon.

For Suffolk, it has been considering two radical plans - one which would involve a single Suffolk council delivering all council services, or splitting the county between two authorities based on Ipswich-Felixstowe and Great Suffolk.

But a judge last week sided with three district councils in the county, which had sought a review into the decision of the Boundary Committee not to consider their preferred option of three councils - Greater Ipswich, East Suffolk and West Suffolk.

The Boundary Committee is waiting for advice from John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities, on whether to proceed with its recommendations or if the Suffolk review should now be scrapped.

A spokesman for the committee said today: “Until we receive the advice, we are not in any position to say whether we can publish our preferred option for Suffolk.

“We also need to know if the judicial review delivered last Friday impacts on our work in Devon and Norfolk.”

The unitary process began when Ipswich, Norwich and Exeter sought to break free from control by their county councils and become stand-alone authorities.

The Government intervened and requested the Boundary Committee to look into the feasibility of unitary councils covering the whole of counties.

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