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Secretary of State backs reorganisation of district councils in Suffolk

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, has backed the mergers of district councils in East Suffolk and West Suffolk.

On 7 November and 30 November the minister had said he was “minded to implement” the proposals for the merger of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils into a new single council named East Suffolk, and the merger of Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury into a single council named West Suffolk.

In a written ministerial statement today (8 February) Javid said that “having carefully considered” all the representations he had received and all the relevant information available to him, he had decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, both proposals.

The Secretary of State added he was satisfied that the criteria he had set for approving mergers were met “and that both new district councils are likely to improve local government and service delivery in their areas, command a good deal of local support, and that each council area is a credible geography”.

He said he now intended to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to his decisions.

“My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new councils will be established on 1 April 2019 with the first elections to the councils held on 2 May 2019.”

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