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Protest to keep town Suffolk and proud

PUBLISHED: 11:45 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:09 05 July 2010

WAVENEY District Council members this week voted to officially oppose the Boundary Committee's proposals to link Lowestoft with Norfolk.

There have also been calls for people to join in the protest being staged in Lowestoft town centre on Monday at 11am aimed at highlighting the campaign to keep Lowestoft Suffolk and Proud.

WAVENEY District Council members this week voted to officially oppose the Boundary Committee's proposals to link Lowestoft with Norfolk.

There have also been calls for people to join in the protest being staged in Lowestoft town centre on Monday at 11am aimed at highlighting the campaign to keep Lowestoft Suffolk and Proud.

Official proposals to place Lowestoft at the centre of an East Suffolk unitary authority were tabled on Wednesday in a bid to stop the town being governed by a new Norfolk council.

The battle for Britain's most easterly town sparked a passionate debate at a special meeting of Waveney Council, where fears over the impact on the market towns of Beccles, Bungay, Southwold and Halesworth were also voiced. The Boundary Committee for England, which has been charged with reviewing local government in Suffolk and Norfolk, has controversially proposed placing Lowestoft within a new Norfolk unitary authority.

However, the meeting voted in favour of a counter-proposal to keep Lowestoft outside Norfolk rule and place it as the principal town in an East Suffolk council.

Council leader Mark Bee described the debate as one of the most important in the authority's history and said following the vote: “My ambition is to see Lowestoft and Waveney at the heart of a progressive, dynamic and logical new unitary authority and not ripped apart, marginalised and forgotten.”

The public are being asked to have their say on the committee's plans until September 26, with a final decision due to be made by the government in February next year.

The Boundary Committee's proposal is for an Ipswich and Felixstowe unitary authority and a rural Suffolk council, excluding Lowestoft. However, it last week gave the go-ahead for the financial case of keeping Lowestoft within Suffolk to be investigated.

The council's main Labour opposition group has previously stated its desire for a joint Waveney and Yarmouth council, but did not comment on its preference at the meeting and chose to abstain from the vote.

Labour councillor John Shanahan said the debate had been full of “clichés, platitudes and contradictions”.

After the meeting, Labour group leader Malcolm Cherry insisted east Suffolk was not the only option and that he wanted to keep his “powder dry”.

Mr Bee will head a public protest against the Boundary Committee's plans on Monday. It will start outside the Britten Centre, in London Road North, Lowestoft, at 11am and proceed to the Town Hall

where a Suffolk flag will be raised at noon.

Suffolk flags, car stickers and balloons with the Suffolk and Proud logo are available from Coes Man's Shop, Bevan Street, Lowestoft.

The battle to keep Lowestoft being governed within Suffolk took another twist after council chiefs were given the go-ahead to investigate the financial case for running the town within a new county unitary authority.

The Boundary Committee has asked Suffolk County Council to also investigate the possibility of Lowestoft existing in a new unitary or rural Suffolk council.

You can still express your views on the proposals at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/eastern /Suffolk/Suffolk-structural-review

You can also write to: The Review Manager (Norfolk/Suffolk Review), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW; or you can email reviews@boundary committee.org.uk


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