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Protestors to fly the flag

PUBLISHED: 10:32 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 05 July 2010

STAND up and be counted!

That's the rallying call today being made by Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee and The Journal as a town day to protest against proposals to move Lowestoft into Norfolk has been organised for next month.

STAND up and be counted!

That's the rallying call today being made by Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee and The Journal as a town day to protest against proposals to move Lowestoft into Norfolk has been organised for next month.

A “symbolic” raising of a Suffolk flag - as part of The Journal's Suffolk and Proud campaign - will take place during a demonstration against the Boundary Committee for England's (BCE) proposals to move Lowestoft into part of a giant Norfolk council.

“The people of Lowestoft need to stand up and say exactly what they all want,” Mr Bee told The Journal. “If they don't want Suffolk to lose Lowestoft they need to let the Boundary Committee know - and this day of protests has been organised to do just that.”

Aiming to send out the message “loud and clear” that Lowestoft should retain its historic status, and not be shifted into another county, the demonstration will be held in the town centre at 11am on Monday, September 1.

Given the proposals have been largely met with dismay from local residents, businesses, parish councils and politicians from all parties, Mr Bee has called on townsfolk to join him, The Journal and mayor Frank Mortimer for the demonstration next month, which will culminate with the Suffolk flag being raised at the Town Hall.

This ceremonial flag-raising at the end of a town day will symbolise the whole issue surrounding this complex proposal - that Lowestoft is determined to stay put.

“We want to show the Boundary Committee and the government how strongly we feel and we hope they will wake up and realise that no-one wants this, no-one asked for this and the people of Lowestoft are not going to stand for it,” Mr Bee said.

“This is a Suffolk town steeped in history and these proposals will only disrupt existing communities who now face the prospect of getting local services delivered by a huge and unwieldy Norwich-based council.

“If enough people gather to make their point, I would be amazed if this government would dare have the front to proceed with something so pointless, unwanted and unpopular.”

Speaking out about these proposals, the council leader will be joined by others on September 1 at 11am - and the call is today going out to encourage people along to the town centre as The Journal distributes Suffolk flags, pennants, car stickers and other merchandise.

“The Boundary Committee are still asking for people's views and there is still time to make a real difference,” Cllr Bee said. “Please come along and show your support for YOUR town - and then let the Boundary Committee know what you think.”

Given that the director of the BCE has said that the committee “has not finalised” it's proposal for a pattern of unitary local government in Suffolk, Cllr Bee added: “In the light of representations received, the Committee will review its draft proposal and consider whether it should be altered before submitting it to the Secretary of State.”

People can still express their views on the proposals by logging onto www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/eastern/Suffolk/Suffolk-structural-review or write to Review manager (Norfolk/Suffolk review), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW or e-mail reviews@boundarycommittee.org.uk

The District Council have moved the meeting, which will “determine the council's preferred option for any future unitary local government within Suffolk,” from next month, to be heard next Wednesday.


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