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Yartoft

PUBLISHED: 13:48 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 19:59 05 July 2010

THERE have been numerous letters in The Journal on the proposal to merge Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth as a unitary authority but why haven't Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee and Waveney MP Bob Blizzard responded?

Irrespective of Mr Bee working assiduously behind the scenes against Yartoft its supporters must surely realise that they have a mountain to climb in convincing the people of Waveney that Yartoft makes sense.

THERE have been numerous letters in The Journal on the proposal to merge Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth as a unitary authority but why haven't Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee and Waveney MP Bob Blizzard responded?

Irrespective of Mr Bee working assiduously behind the scenes against Yartoft its supporters must surely realise that they have a mountain to climb in convincing the people of Waveney that Yartoft makes sense.

The government insists that the following criteria must be met when applying for unitary status:

Affordable, ie that the change itself both represents value for money and can be met from councils' existing resource envelope supported by a broad cross section of partners and stakeholders/citizens.

And future structures/arrangements must:

Provide strong, effective and accountable strategic leadership;

Deliver genuine opportunities for neighbourhood flexibility and empowerment; and

Deliver value for money and equity on public services.

Would the burden for education and social services really fall on the council tax payers living in the new Yartoft unitary area?

At present most taxes are levied on a county-wide basis. Also, how would the break up of Suffolk affect issues like the police, fire service and other statutory obligations?

We hope the subject of reorganisation stays fully in the public domain and not just in the political corridors of Westminster, Ipswich or Waveney.

Politicians should remember that the government has refused other authority's bids, because local referendums had clearly rejected proposals on unitary status.

Do the Yartoft supporters believe that the government's criteria can be met and would they actually support a referendum in Waveney?

ANN SKIPPER, PAUL ATHORN

Aspinall Close

Lowestoft

ALEX THOMSON

Lloyds Avenue

Kessingland


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