Consultation starts on Mid Suffolk and Babergh merger

Mid Suffolk District Council leader Nick Gowrley
Mid Suffolk District Council leader Nick Gowrley
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Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils yesterday launched a public consultation on the future of the two authorities.

The consultation runs until February 5 and asks residents, businesses and other stakeholders, to comment on the proposals to dissolve both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and form a new, single council to cover the area.

Babergh's leader Jennie Jenkins

Babergh's leader Jennie Jenkins

You can take part at www.babergh.gov.uk

The two councils have also commissioned an independent telephone poll, to be carried out by ComRes, which will contact a sample of 2,000 residents in each district.

After the consultation councillors will debate the proposals, including whether a local poll should be held.

Jennie Jenkins, Babergh’ leader, said: “We all need to make our residents’ council tax go further, and if creating a new council will allow us to do that we owe it to our residents to at least look into the idea. But we can’t do this alone, we need everyone to get involved.”

Nick Gowrley, Mid Suffolk’s leader, said: “The option of creating a new council is one idea, but we need help from everyone across the districts to put together this business case.

“We need the right information so we can make the right decision.”

But Mid Suffolk’s Liberal Democrat leader Penny Orton said: “We are not convinced this is the best outcome for residents now that everything is based in Ipswich, away from the community it represents.

“Mid Suffolk Councillors have been given very different advice from those in Babergh. This does not give us confidence that we have all the facts.”