Search

Unitary battle is stepped up

PUBLISHED: 14:45 18 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:55 05 July 2010

THE battle to stop Lowestoft from being governed by a new Norfolk unitary authority will be stepped up next week when a counter-proposal, placing the town at the centre of an East Suffolk council, is launched.

THE battle to stop Lowestoft from being governed by a new Norfolk unitary authority will be stepped up next week when a counter-proposal, placing the town at the centre of an East Suffolk council, is launched.

Waveney District Council, which could see its principal town of Lowestoft and surrounding villages cast adrift from the rest of Suffolk, has called a special meeting to formulate a policy in response to the Boundary Committee's controversial proposals.

The committee's preferred option for a shake-up of local government is a unitary Norfolk council featuring Lowestoft separate to a Suffolk-wide council, excluding Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Tory-run Waveney council will stage its meeting at Lowestoft Town Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday and leader Mark Bee confirmed he was set to propose an East Suffolk unitary.

“My proposal is that we reinstate the proposals of east, west and Ipswich councils as the best way of keeping Lowestoft out of Norfolk,” said Mr Bee. “I think Lowestoft will be much better as the principal town in an East Suffolk unitary authority, with Ipswich outside.

“It would be tempting to say we want to keep the status quo, but the Boundary Committee is not interested in this; it wants proposals for a unitary council. We also need to know what the people think themselves so they need to make their views known to the Boundary Committee.”

Question marks over the viability of the proposed Waveney Campus council headquarters in Lowestoft emerged following the Boundary Committee's recommendations, but Mr Bee said it could be the home of a new East Suffolk authority.

The proposals are out for public consultation until September 26, after which final recommendations will be drawn up and the secretary of state for communities and local government asked to make a decision.

Waveney's opposition Labour group has backed a joint Yarmouth/Waveney council and while it was pleased the new proposals opened the door for closer links between the two areas, it did not agree with a wider Norfolk authority incorporating Lowestoft.

Leader Malcolm Cherry said: “I strongly feel that the important thing now is it has given the people of Lowestoft and Yarmouth a window of opportunity to argue the case… for a Yarmouth and Waveney unitary authority.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists