Monday, December 07, 2009

The Boundary Committee for England regretfully advises...

Well, they've reported back, and will be recommmending a unitary authority to cover all of Suffolk.

From a personal perspective, it is a bit disappointing, in that my campaign in Stowupland ward looks likely to come to a sticky end, with the new unitary divisions likely to be at least three times the size of the district wards. However, there's never any harm in sticking leaflets through doors so, until the Secretary of State makes his decision, the campaign continues.

Interestingly, however, the alternative proposal from the Boundary Committee for England, two unitaries - one based on Ipswich and Felixstowe, the other to be called Rural Suffolk, is still on the table, as is the original proposal from Ipswich Borough Council (note to Boundary Committee, not City, as stated in the summary news release).

As for Devon and Norfolk, the recommendations are for unitary counties (Plymouth excluded in the former instance).

So, a bit more uncertainty to come, but my gut feeling is that Suffolk will see Unitary and Parish elections in 2011.


Chris White said...

Ah: but there's a General Election in the meantime and you may well find an incoming Government more reluctant to hack off the Tory shirearchy than Labour.

Perhaps we now need to campaign for parishes to have more say over local issues (like licensing?)

Adrian Sanders said...

Should have signed that Adrian Sanders, but pressed the wrong key!

Adrak said...

Sadly, Torbay, like Plymouth, is also ommitted from the draft proposals.

MatGB said...

Basically what Adrian said--DCC becomes unitary on existing borders, so excludes the existing two unitaries. And also abolishes Exeter as a distinct unit, which given the long history of Exeter as a County Borough is absolutely wrong--if Torbay can be independent and govern itself then Exeter definitely can.

I know little about the geography of Suffolk, and the politics I pick up from you, but it's daft to be merging everything into massive units, while we have metro boroughs and unitaries like Torbay and Calderdale being tiny yet self governing.

Hugh said...

I was born in Suffolk. At that time, pre 1974, there were East and West Suffolk County Councils plus the Districts/Boroughs. A new "West Suffolk House" was built and opened in Bury St Edmunds this year so the Tories there will be pissed off.
As an outsider I would have said that reverting to the pre '74 set up , with a unity Ipswich (& Felixstowe?) would probably have seemed sensible to the general public. But when did common sense come into it?

Lon Won said...

I've lived in all three counties - Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk - and I wouldn't like to say I know what the ideal arrangements should be in any of them. But I do know that Exeter losing its City Council is madness.

More of my witterings on this subject