Both Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils have agreed to look at the creation of a new single council for west Suffolk.
The draft business case suggests a single council could better meet the challenges facing our communities, such as increased population, demand on health care and reduced funding. At the same time it could better drive jobs, deliver services and continue investment to support our communities. In addition it would generate hundreds of thousands of pounds of savings and efficiencies.
A new council would entirely replace the borough and district council but continue to deliver the same services.
Already both councils successfully share services, for example collecting your bins or ensuring people can access the right housing – saving local taxpayers £4 million every year. We now want to look to build on these successes to bring about even more benefits and continue to invest even more into supporting our communities under a new single council.
A single council would allow us to better:
It would mean the council is the right size to still deliver local and tailored solutions but also have a large and unified voice to champion the aspirations of our communities nationally and to attract new businesses.
In addition the new council could bring savings and efficiencies totalling around £800,000 every year. We also want to reassure you that services would continue and these savings and efficiencies would not be through cuts but through not needing double the amount of things we have now or increasing our capacity to do more.
A draft business case has been developed and both councils have agreed to look in September at whether to take this forward with central Government.
This means we also want to hear from you. Please have your say online or send us your comments by email email@example.com by 31 August 2017. We will also be contacting groups and businesses about the proposals.
A phone poll is also being carried out which will help inform councillors and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if the move goes forward. Councillors will meet in September to look at an updated business plan.
There are still many things that need to be decided and a councillor steering group has been set up to look at these. This would include the number of councillors the new council would have. We have also set up a page to help answer some of the common questions
A single council would bring real and lasting benefits to all residents in the area. A new single council would give the area a greater ability to: